> J" % ^MJ)^^
_TN. S '' <* A ' / ■
The ancient mouth of the Hudson River, according to recent data of
the U. S. Geological Survey. Drawn for and published in the JVezu York
Herald^ and reproduced here by permission. The dotted lines indicate the
the present contour of land in New Jersey and Manhattan.
History of Bayonne,
RoYDEN Page Whitcomb.
Published by R. P. Whitcomb,
24 East 37TH Street,
Bayonne, N. J.
LIBRARY of CONGRESS
Two Copies Meceived
DEC 20 1 904
OUSS CL XXC. Noi
Bv R. P. WHITCOMB.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
INTRODUCTION, by Mayor Thomas Brady 12
AUTHOR'S PREFACE 15
CHAPTER 1 17
CHAPTER II iS
Discovery — Indians — Description of Country.
CHAPTER III 20
1614 — 1646. Early Settlements and Grants at Manhattan, Pavonia
and Communipaw — Massacre at Pavonia.
CHAPTER IV 22
1646 — 1776. Grants of Land on Constable's Hook and Bergen Neck
— Bayonne Settled by the Dutch — Indian Troubles — Return of
Settlers, and Final Settlement at Pembrepogh — Settlement at
Bergen — Description in 1680 — Early Education and Law — Census
of Bergen County in 1737.
CHAPTER V 32
Constable's Hook. Early Property Owners — Van Buskirk Home-
stead — First Bank of Constable's Hook — First Cemetery Laid
Out — Tombstone Inscriptions ; Names and Dates — Slaves Bought
and Sold — Newspaper Extracts — Early Real Estate Speculation —
Captain Kidd's Hill and Buried Treasures.
C O NTENTS
CHAPTER VI 41
1776 — 1782. Bergen Neck During the Revolution — Troops
Stationed and Fort Delancey Erected — Trouble with Tories —
Skirmishes Between American and British Troops — Unlawful-
ness and Murders — Ward's Band — Attacks Upon — Newspaper
Extracts — Fort Delancey Evacuated.
CHAPTER Vn 52
1782 — 1830. Peace — Washington Greeted by the Inhabitants on
His Way to New York — Slavery Declared — Immigration and
Education — War of 1812 — First Manufacturing Concern at Con-
stable's Hook — Extreme Cold — Humor of 1826.
CHAPTER VIII 56
1830 — 1857. Description in 1830 — Pursuits — Cholera — Boundary
Line in New York Bay — Morris Canal Through — Hudson
County Erected — New Cemetary — Town Officials in 1855.
CHAPTER IX 60
1857 — 1860. Act to Lay Out Streets — School Improvements —
Bayonne Set Off as a Township — Origin of Name — Township
Government — General Description.
CHAPTER X 64
i860 — 1866. Civil War — Close Light Guards — Excitement During
War — First Port Johnson Coal Docks.
CHAPTER XI 66
1866 — 1872. Incorporated as a City — Charter Submitted to the
People — Newspaper Extracts — First City Officials — Last Meeting
of Township Committee Men — Organization of City Govern-
ment — Important Ordinances — Assessed Valuation of Property in
1869 — Public Improvements — First Police Chief — First Annual
Tax Assessment — Organization of Fire Department — First Sewer
CO NTE NTS
CHAPTER XII 77
1872 — 1879. Revised Charter — First Street Lamps — School Im-
provements — First Fire Chief — Fourth Ward Created — News-
CHAPTER XIII 80
1879 — 1883. Lane Elected Mayor — General Description — City
Finances — Fifth Ward Erected — Contract for City Water —
Avenue D Macadamized.
CHAPTER XIV 83
1883 — 1891. Oliver Elected Mayor — Ordinance for Better Observ-
ance of the Sabbath — Newman Elected Mayor — Street Names
Changed — Liquor License Increased — Electric Lights — Nevir
School — Free Mail Delivery — Hospital Founded — Establishment
of Public Library — Growth of Population — New City Hall —
CHAPTER XV 88
1891 — 1895. Farr Elected Mayor — Board of Trade Organized —
High School Established — New City Hall Completed — Celebra-
tion of Opening — Ordinance to Prohibit Vice and Immorality —
Kite Experiments — New City Dock — Public Library Opened —
Annual Tax for 1894 — Contract for Pure Water.
CHAPTER XVI 92
1895 — 1904. Seymour Elected Mayor — Trouble With Water Com-
pany — Hudson Boulevard Completed — Extensive School Im-
provements — St. Luke's Hospital Opened — Standard Oil Com-
pany's Fire — President McKinley's Death — Small-pox Epidemic
— The Meeker Act — Street Improvements — St. Luke's Hospital
Burned — Avenue C Asphalted — Carnegie Gives City Library —
Work Begun on Public Park — New School No. 8 — Fire Destroys
Tenements — Reports, Statistics, Etc., Etc., at Close of 1903.
CHAPTER XVII 98
1904. Thomas Brady, Mayor-Elect, Enters Office — Police Trial
Board Created — Destructive Fire — Report of Librarian — Bill for
Bridge Between Bergen Point and Elizabethport — Annual Tax
Budget for 1904 — City Treasurer's Annual Report — New Build-
ing for Police Headquarters— Carnegie Library Opened.
CHAPTER XVIII 105
A Glimpse of the City as It is To-day.
CHAPTER XIX Ill
Traveling Facilities from Early Days to Present — Early Country
CHAPTER XX 118
Early Worship — First Churches, Etc.
VITAL STATISTICS OF BAYONNE 122
Population — Births — Marriages — Deaths.
TAX RATES 12-.
Pre-glacial Ages Frontispiece
The City Seal 14
Dutch Settlers on the Pembrepogh Shore 28
The Graves of Pioneer Settlers 34
Van Buskirk Homestead, Constable's Hook, 1776 36
Bergen Neck, Revolutionary Period 45
Fort Delancey 50
Council Hall 7°
Bird's-Eye View of Bayonne in 1875 72-73
Newark Bay by Moonlight 91
On the Newark Bay Shore 108
The Old Central Railroad Bridge 115
"Bee Hive," the First Methodist Church 120
By Thomas Brady, Mayor,
I take great pleasure in complying with the request of the
author that I write a few words of introduction to his History of
Bayonne. So far as I am informed, it is the first attempt on the
part of any one to collect and record, in permanent form, matters
of historic interest relating to this locality. It is true that one or
more histories of this county have been written, but none of them
have paid much, if any, attention to this particular community.
The task of the author has, therefore, been that of a pioneer, and
for that reason we are the more indebted to him. If the contents
of the book record accurately the events which lead to the settle-
ment of this part of Bergen Neck, and the trying experiences of
its early inhabitants, the story will be worth reading ; and if we
fully appreciate the advantages that we have, as compared with
them, we should be easily persuaded that the future history of our
city depends very largely upon ourselves. If we are true to our
opportunities, our children may be able to say, "We are citizens
of no mean city." While it may be true that it is two hundred and
fifty years since the first settlers located here, it is also true that
the history of Bayonne, from a commercial standpoint, begins at
a much later date. Prior to- the establishment of the oil refineries
at Constable's Hook, Bayonne was unknown outside of Port John-
son, except as a fishing village and summer resort. Since then its
desirability for commercial purposes has attracted the attention of
manufacturers and men engaged in large business enterprises.
Its prospects now seem fair to become one of the principal manu-
facturing centres of the State.
Bayonne, like many suburbs under the shadow of a great city,
has suffered by reason of those who would otherwise have been its
most influential citizens, being absorbed in the affairs of the me-
tropolis. With men of force residing' within our borders, who are
also identified with business interests here, there is a strong prob-
ability of a greater local interest being developed. I believe that in
this respect, the present is the beginning of a new epoch. With
the natural advantages of a large water front, and the facilities
afforded by the railroads entering our city, there is every reason to
believe that in the near future great changes will be worked in our
midst. It is, therefore, fortunate that one of our citizens has un-
dertaken to perpetuate the memory of the past before all the old
residents have departed, and the ancient landmarks disappeared.
Such a book as the History of Bayonne should tend to foster civic
pride, without which no city can succeed. I have been awaiting
with much interest the appearance of the book, and feel quite con-
fident that it will serve a very useful purpose in the community.
Mayor's Office, November i, 1904.
"Let us be students and lovers of our city."
— Frank Moss.
Bayonne is approaching the 250th anniversary of its settle-
ment. It seems appropriate, therefore, that a history of the place
be published at this time ; not only to commemorate the anniver-
sary, but also because such a history has never before been written
or published, and it is well to have collected in some substantial
form the historical records of the locality for preservation in our
homes and libraries, and to serve as a reference and reminder of
the days gone by.
The author, with this in mind, undertook the task some time
ago of preparing a history of Bayonne. After spending consid-
erable time in difficult research, consulting numerous histories,
archives, genealogies, ordinances, reports, maps, documents, files
of old newspapers, and in interviewing and corresponding with
old inhabitants and past and present city officials — this book is
The writer feels justified in saying that he has always sought
the most reliable sources of information, striving to give as accu-
rate, concise and interesting an account of the past as possible.
Although much labor has been spent sifting statements in
search for any inaccuracies, it is to be hoped that errors, if any,
are very few.
The task, while agreeable, has been no light or superficial one,
and the author is very grateful to all persons who have assisted
him in the work. He feels especially indebted to the following
named: — Thomas Brady, Mayor; George Carragan, President of
Bayonne Bank ; Mr.* and j\Irs. Nicholus Van Buskirk ; William
C. Farr, ex-Mayor ; Rev. iMitchell Bronk, Ph.D. ; Frederic Cham-
berlain, Board of Education ; Mabel E. Smith ; William Nelson,
Secretary New Jersey Historical Society ; Emmett Smith, City
Surveyor ; Edwin H. Alexander ; William Dexter ; Rev. F. W.
Jones ; Principal E. C. Earl ; George W. Yates, Sr. ; Edmund
Stinson, Councilman ; Nicholus Cubberly ; John F. Lee,* ex-
President Board of Education ; H. T. Hewitt, Secretary Board of
Education ; C. J. Rooney, Clerk of County Board of Health and
Vital Statistics ; Egbert Seymour, ex-Mayor ; H. G. Saltzman ;
Joseph Brady, City Treasurer ; C. L. Robinson, Collector of Reve-
nue ; Cornelius Van Horn,
That this volume may enlighten and interest the reader, and
be the means of developing and reviving that honest civic pride
which is essential to the best citizenship — is the sincere wish of
R. P. W.
Number Twenty-four East Thirty-seventh Street,
HISTORY OF BAYONNE.
Thousands of years ago, perhaps 5,000, perhaps 20,000, be-
Dre the northern section of the American continent was lapped
1 glacial ice, the whole of Bergen Neck (now Jersey City and
layonne) was submerged land. The Hudson River at that period
ad a double channel, the main one flowing down the valley west
f the Palisades, forming a vast sea north of Staten Island and
xtending from Newark Heights to South Brooklyn. This sea
ad two outlets ; one west of Staten Island and the other east ; the
itter now the Narrows.
Years later the ice cap from the Arctic regions slowly but
esistlessly overspread the metropolitan district under hundreds of
eet of ice, until it had reached a point where the waste from
lelting was as rapid as the advance. The ice finally blocked the
i^estern channel with so much pulverized debris of trap, pebbles,
iirt, sandstone, etc., that it gradually closed that branch of the
iver, thereby causing the Hudson to flow east of the Palisades
n a channel deepened and widened by these forces.
After this change, when the ice had melted and the flow of
vater in the western channel had consequently lessened, the land
hat had previously been submerged, appeared. This included a
larrow strip running north and south, dividing the sea in the
niddle and forming Bergen Neck, the southern extremity of the.
*See article in the New York "Herald," July 10, 1904.
i8 HISTORY OF
Discovery — Indians — Description of Country.
To acquaint ourselves with the early history of Bayonne, we
must first look back and glance over a few brief historical facts
concerning New York, Jersey City and vicinity.
History tells us that Jean de Verrazzano, a Florentine in the
service of Francis I, King of France, sailed into New York har-
bor as early as 1524. He was, therefore, the first white person to
gaze on the east shore of what is now the City of Bayonne.
On September 3, 1609, Henry Hudson, in "De Halve Maan"
(Half Moon), cast anchor inside of what is now Sandy Hook.
Two days later five of his crew were sent to explore the river
opening to the north. Passing through the Narrows, they found
a swift-flowing river to the westward between two islands, the
shores of which were "as pleasant with Grasse, and Flowers, and
goodly Trees, as ever they had scene, and very sweet smells came
from them." (Hudson's Journal.)
This was the Kill von Kull', or "Het Kill van het Cull,"
meaning the creek of the bay. They went through the Kills so
far as to see Newark Bay. Upon reaching the mouth of the
Kills on their return they were attacked by twenty-six Indians,
in two canoes, who were probably from Manhattan, and one of
the seamen, John Coleman, was shot through the throat by an
arrow and killed. This appears to be the nearest approach to
Bayonne shores by the whites, so far. On the nth, Hudson
passed through the Narrows and anchored of Constable's Hook.
BAYO N N E . 19
'here is no record of his landing, although the natives between
•ergen Point and Weehawken were very friendly and had ex-
mded to him many acts of kindness. They visited his vessel
aily, bringing furs, oysters, corn, beans, pumpkins, grapes and
pples, to trade. The following day he continued north and
ntered the river which bears his name.
This tribe of Indians was called the Raritans, and belonged
) that stock of the Delawares called the Sanrikans. A small In-
ian village was probably located at Bergen Point at this time,
f so, it only remained there for a comparatively short period.
This territory was then covered with a dense forest. Bears,
anthers, wolves, wild cats, foxes, rattlesnakes, red deer, beavers,
ares and squirrels were plentiful, and afforded an excellent hunt-
ig ground for the savages. The bays on both sides were the
leans of obtaining fine fish and oysters.
1614 — 1646.
Early Settlements and Grants at Manhattan, Pavonia and Communi-
paw — Massacre at Pavonia.
Early in 1614 an act was passed by the States General of
Holland, giving to certain merchants of Amsterdam the exclusive
right to trade and establish settlements w^ithin the limits of the
country explored by Hudson. The same year, under this com-
mission, a fleet of five small trading vessels arrived at Manhattan
Island. A few rude huts had already been built by former In-
dian traders, but now a fort for the defense of the place was
erected and the settlement named New Amsterdam. As early as
1618 a feeble trading station had been established at Bergen,
west of the Hudson, but some years elapsed before permanent
dwellings were built in this neighborhood.
In April, 1623, an expedition under Captain Cornelius J.
May, of Amsterdam, with about thirty families, mostly religious
refugees, arrived at New Amsterdam and began a settlement on
the lower end of Manhattan Island, This colony was not a suc-
cess, and much dissatisfaction was shown.
In June, 1629, the States General granted a bill of "Freedoms
and Exemptions" to all such private persons as would plant any
colonies in any part of New Netherland, except Manhattan Island.
Special privileges were also granted to members of the West
India Company. Whoever of its members would plant a colony
of fifty persons should be a feudal lord or "Patroon" of a tract
BAYO N N E . 21
'sixteen miles in length fronting on a navigable river, and readi-
ng eight miles back."*
As yet, only exploring parties bent on trade with the savages
lad traversed what is now Hoboken, Jersey City and Bayonne.
vio one had ventured to "take up" any lands. However, under
he stimulus of the bill of "BVeedoms and Exemptions," one
vlichael Pauw, then burgomaster of New Amsterdam, was im-
)elled for speculative purposes, no doubt, to obtain from the
Director General of New Netherland in 1630, grants of two large
racts, one called "Hoboken Haching" (land of the tobacco pipe),
nd the other "Ahasimus."* Both of the tracts were parts of
vhat is now Jersey City. The grantee gave one place the name
•f "Pavonia." Pauw failed to comply with the conditions set
orth in his deeds, and was obliged, after three years of contro-
ersy with the West India Company, to convey his plantation
lack to that company.
Michael Paulesen, an official of the company, was placed in
harge of the plantations in and around Pavonia as superinten-
lent. It is said he built and occupied a hut at Paulus Hook
arly as 1633, therefore being the earliest known white resident
a what is now Hudson County. He was followed by others, and
ly the year 1643 there were considerable plantations on this side
if the river.
In 1643 ^ri Indian, no doubt under stress of great provoca-
ion, shot and killed a member of the Van Vorst family in this
ettlement. This resulted in the Massacre of Pavonia on the
light of February 25, 1643. Soldiers from Manhattan Island
rossed the Hudson River and attacked the Indians at Com-
lunipaw, slaughtering nearly one hundred. The northern tribes
ook the warpath, attacked and destroyed the settlement. The
ettlers who were not killed fled across the river to New Am-
terdam. This section remained deserted by the whites for a
lumber of years.
*Winfield's History of Hudson County.
1646 — 1776.
Grants of Land on Constable's Hook and Bergen Neck — Bayonne
Settled by the Dutch — Indian Troubles — Return of Settlers and Final Set-
tlement at Pembrepogh — Settlement at Bergen — Description in 1680 — Early
Education and Law — Census of Bergen County in 1737.
The first record we find referring to the Bayonne section is
dated March, 1646, when Jacob J. Roy, a gunner of Fort Am-
sterdam, received a grant of land at Constable's Hook.
"Patent granted to Jacob Jacobsen Roy for the Tract of
Land called Constapel's Hook, on the Kil van Col (New Jersey).
"We, William Kieft, Director-General, and the Council of
New Netherland, etc., etc.,
"Testify and declare herewith, that this day, date as below,
we have conceded and granted to Jacob Jacobsen Roy a parcel of
land, called Constapel's Hook, situate on the mainland and sepa-
rated from Staten Island by the Kil van Col, covering an area of
one hundred and fifty morgens, according to the surveyor's map,
with the express condition and stipulation, etc., etc.
"Done at Fort Amsterdam, , 1646."
The place was formally called Nipnichsen by the Indians. It
was soon called Constapel's Hoeck, deriving its name from the
occupation of its first European owner. The Dutch word for
B A Y O N N E . 23
^unner is konstapel; hence Konstapel's Hoeck, or Gunner's Point,
[t is not known whether Roy settled here, or not, but the proba-
Dilities are that he did not.
On December 4 and 5, 1654, patents were issued for land in
:he southerly part of Jersey City, and in Bayonne. The tracts
,vere designated by this description : — "Between Gemoenepaen
md the Kil van Kol." Most of them were for twenty-five mor-
eens lying within the district afterwards known as Pembrepogh
'Pamrapo). As that name is not mentioned in the patents, it is
probable that the same was not then known to the Dutch, or, at
east, was not applied to this section of the country.
One of these Patents reads as follows : —
"To Jan Gerritsen van Immen, a piece of land between
jemoenepaen and the Kil van Kol, running along the river or
)ay S. W. for 40 rods back in the woods, 40 rods wide, stretching
nto the woods N. N. W. for 375 rods on either side, together 25
norgens. Decbr. 5th, 1654."
Grants were also issued to : — Jacob Wallingen, Jan Cornelis-
;en Buys, Jan Lubbertsen, Jan Cornelissen Schoenmaker, Gerrit
Piertersen, Lubbert Gysbertsen, Jan Cornelissen Crynnen, Gys-
)ert Lubbertsen and Hendrick Jansen Van Schalckivyck.
Most of these were owners of land in Pamrapo in the winter
)f 1654-5. A small company of these property owners, or men
employed by them, anxious to lay claim to their possessions,
;ailed from New Amsterdam in the spring of 1655 and erected
•ude shelters on their new possesions. Here they opened up an
extensive trade with the Indians, and probably cleared some land
n preparation for the building of suitable homes for their families,
rhey were, therefore, the first white settlers, and consequently
he founders of Bayonne.
However, the stay of these Dutchmen was short, for on Sep-
ember 15, 1655, the Indians (provoked at the killing of one of
24 HISTORY OF
their thieving women) attacked New Amsterdam, killing many.
Then they crossed and attacked Pavonia, Communipaw and
Hoboken, murdering, burning and stealing as they continued down
through Bergen Neck (Bayonne), and thence to Staten Island.
For a second time this section was a desolation. Homes and
plantations were deserted and the settlers fled to New Amsterdam,
where they remained some three or four years before returning.
There is no record as to the exact date when the Dutchmen
returned to reclaim their property along Bergen Neck. It was
probably after Jn.nuary 30, 1658, when a deed was drawn up
whereby the Indians sold the land to the Dutch, that these pioneer
settlers brought their families and belongings, and made final
It is uncertain just where these permanent dwellings were
erected. One would infer, however, that most of them were
situated close to the New York Bay shore between Forty-third
Street and the Morris Canal, where it was easy of access to New
Amsterdam by water. One, the author has reason to believe,
stood on the present site of the Bayswater Hotel ; another at the
foot of Centre Street, and another near the present Forty-ninth
Street station. One or two were probably situated as far back
as Avenue D, in the neighborhood of Grand Street.
This settlement at first showed no signs of growth, but after
a few years (as will shortly be seen), upon the arrival of more
home-seekers, it began to prosper.
"1658 Jan. loth. Indian Deed (copy of translation from the
Dutch). Therinques, Wappappen, Saghkow, Kagkennip, Bomo-
kan, Memewockan, Sames. Wev/enatokwee, to the Director Gen-
eral and Council of New Netherland for land on the Westside of
the North River from the great Clip above Wiehacken to above
the Island Sikakes, thence to the Kill van Col, so along to Con-
B A Y O N N E . 25
stable's Hoeck, thence again to the Chp above Wiehacken"
The first municipaHty within the Hmits of New Jersey was
erected by order of Director-General Stuyvesant and his council
Dn September 5, 1661, and christened "The Village of Bergen."
The English, in 1664, under Colonel Richard Nicolls, cap-
tured New Netherlands from the Dutch, but the inhabitants on
Bergen Neck were not disturbed.
Constable's Hook appeared to be unoccupied and unclaimed
upon their taking possession of New York. Consequently, Gov-
ernor Nicolls gave a patent, October 26, 1664, to Samuel Edsall
and Nicholas Johnson "for a Neck of Land call'd Nip Nickon
lying at the mouth of Kil Van Kul."''-* This grant was for five
hundred acres and included part of Bergen Point, at that time
called Constable's Hook.
In 1668 Pemerpoch was applied to that section which lies
between the Morris Canal and Thirty-third Street. The word
"Pemerpoch" comes from certain Indian words meaning "Big
Rock."*** No doubt the Indians referred to the massive rock on
which a great portion of Pamrapo and Greenville rests, and which
is most visible in the vicinity of Avenue C and the Canal.
On November 2, 1670, Johnson sold his interest of Consta-
ble's Hook to Edsall**** for 4,620 guilders, wampum value, who it
is supposed erected a log house at the Hook, and cleared and
tilled the land ; in a short time he had a flourishing plantation.*****
*New Jersey Archives. First Series, Vol. XXI.
**Winfield's Land Titles.
***Nelson's "Indians of New Jersey."
***It is spelled several ways — Pembrepock, Pemerpogh, Pembrepogh,
Pamrapaw, Pemmerapugh, Pamrapo are some of the ways.
****New Jersey Historical Societj'.
*****It is believed that Edsall hired some one to do this work, as he was
a very busy man. He was a prominent member of the Court of Bergen
from 1674 to 1682.
About this time Edsall sold to Jan Van der Linden a piece
of meadow lying between the Hook and Bergen Point, but it is
not known whether he settled here.
Edsall is credited with being the first settler of Bayonne by
George Scott, in a brochure entitled "The Model of the Govern-
ment of the Province of East Jersey in America," published in
Edinburgh in 1685. Giving a description of the country in 1680,
he says : — "To goe back to the South the part of Berghen Neck,
that is opposite Statin Island, where is but a narrow passage of
water, which ebbs and flows between the said Island and Berghen
Point, called Constable's Hook. There is a considerable planta-
tion on that side of Constable's Hook, extending in land alone a
mile over, from the Bay on the east side of the neck that leads to
New York, to that on the west that goes to Hackensack and
Snake Hill ; the neck running up between both from the South to
the North of Pludson River to the outmost extent of their bounds.
There belongs to that plantation about 1,200 or 1,500 acres, and
its well stockt and improved ; it was settled first by Samuel Edsall
in Colonel Nichall's time, and by him sold 3 years ago (1682) for
600 lib. There are other small Plantations along that neck to the
east between it and a little village of twenty families called by the
Indians 'Penelipe' (meaning 'Pembrepogh'), then further on to
another cottage (the Currie Homestead). There are more
where Lawrence the Draper lives, a Dutchman ;* there may be
16 or 18 families. The greater part of the inhabitants which are
*This was Lawreris Andriesen, the founder of the Van Buskirk family.
He came from Holstein, Denmark, in the summer of 1655. After his emi-
gration here, he took the surname of Van Buskirk, the "Van" signifying
"from," and "Bos Kerck" meaning "church in the woods." In 1667 he
purchased the tract of land previously granted to Claas Carstensen, the
Norman, at Minkakwa, afterward called Greenville. He was prominent
in Bergen public affairs, and was a member of the Court. He lived on the
New York Bay Shore about where Linden Avenue now is. He died in 1694.
B AYO N N E . 27
in this Jurisdiction are Dutch, of which some have settled here
ipwards of 40 years agoe."
From Scott's description one would infer that in 1680 there
were about forty families in Pamrapo and Greenville, but this
?eems to be exaggerated, and twenty families would be nearer
he truth.* Pembrepogh had now grown to be quite a settle-
nent. These thrifty and pertinacious Dutchmen had already
3pened up an extensive trade with the Indians. Money was
ilmost unknown, the unit of value being a beaver skin, and the
:urrency being provided by bits of clam and periwinkle shells
:leftly cut and polished. They traded honorably and gave and
received fair values. Yankee tricks were unknown to them.
They were slow to form new acquaintances, but were firm in their
friendship. On early mornings, probably once a week, it was a
:ommon occurrence to see a group of Dutchmen with their sugar-
loaf hats and leather breeches, together with their wives in their
multiplied petticoats and other paraphernalia, entering skiffs on
the New York Bay shore (near the "Bayswater") to convey them
to New Amsterdam. There they would spend the day trading
their fruit, vegetables, oysters and fish for clothing, beer, tools
and the like, and gossiping with their friends. A road, or at least
a path, led from this section over to Bergen Town, over which
these settlers would travel occasionally for the same purpose that
they went to New Amsterdam. Their homes were principally
built of logs and stone, with mud filled in the cracks. They were
a pretty good-natured lot, and so long as they had a fire to sit by,
a pipe to smoke, a bed to sleep on and plenty of clams to eat, they
were perfectly satisfied..
One of these Dutchmen was Joost Van der Linde (Van Der-
linden), who owned property and lived in Pembrepogh in 1674.
*Scott's brochure was merely a "puff." and is somewhat inaccurate.
Edsall sold this property in 1694, instead of in 1682, as Scott states.
Another of these pioneer settlers was A\'illiam Douglas (Doeck-
less, Douckless), who lived at the same place about this time. He
was elected to represent Bergen in the General x\ssembly of New
Fersev in 1680, but was ruled out of that bodv because of his
Onvm br E4vfa S. .Aleiaader.
DCTCH OX Pembrepogh Shore.
being a Roman Catiw^c Gerrit Gerritse (Garretson van Wag-
cnen), an Associate Justice of the Court of Bergen, also lived in
Femhrepo^ about fliis time (1681), with his family. On March
17, 1696. Cornelius Jansen (Vreeland) purchased of William
Douglas land at Pembrqx)gh, on which he afterwards lived-
B A Y O X X E
Other early settlers of Bergen. Pavonia, Pamrapo and Bergen
N'eck were: — \'an \'oorst,, Tansen ( \'reeland) , Andriessen (^Van
Buskirk), Tomassen (Van Riper), Comelissen (Van Horn), Van
S'iewkircke (Xewkirk), Harmense. Claesen i GarrabrantV. Brinck-
Drhoef (Brinkerhoft), Van Schuyler (Schuyler), Planck, Sip,
Sautier, Deidrick (Cadmus). Jacobse (Van WinkleV
The descendants of some of the above mentioned persons, no
doubt, many readers know ; some can probably claim relation. A
|:rreat majority of these settlers were emigrants from Holland or
descendants of persons who had emigrated from that countn.-
and settled on Manhattan Island, Long Island and Staten Island.
The rest were English. Frencli, German and Scandana\-ian.
The recapture of X'ew York by the Diitch in 1673, and the
final surrender to the English the following year, affected this
territory very little.
At this time '"the law provided that whenever an estray (cat-
tle, etc.) came upon one's premises, it was a duty to record a
description of the same with the Town Clerk, to enable the owner
to recover his propert}-." This law was obsen*ed for over one
hundred years. Here are specimens of such recorded notices ;
dates are missing: —
"A stray Muel at the House of Garret Van Derhoof. Being
a Dark Brown Couller Marked on the left shoulder with the Let-
ters X. A."
"A Red Bui! with a Wite Streck on the Buttok with no
mark, at the House of Moses \'an Amen at Bergen Point. The
Creator will be two years old this Spring."
An entry from a fragment of the old town book of Bergen : —
"Pieter Boskerck S}ti merk Een half maentie onder uyt het
About this time a charter was granted to the town of Bergen.
The charter granted that the "keeping of a Free School for the
Education of Youth," and "that in Religious Concerns and the
way of Worshipping God, there is liberty of conscience Granted
to all Persons in Generall."
The following agreement, made in 1682, will give the reader
an idea of the manner of education offered in those days : —
"Agreed with Mrs. Baker that she shall learne my daughter
Ellinor to read and sew, and make all manner of needle worke,
for one whole yeare from the day of the date hereof, being the
12th day of November, 1682, and in the meane while the s'd Mrs.
Baker, during the said terme, shall not put her, my s'd daughter,
to any manner of house worke, but to keepe her to her needle
worke, and for true performance hereof I am to give the s'd Mrs.
Baker a heaffer of her first calfe, at the time of the Expiration."
Few incidents appear in the history of this section of impor-
tance betvv^een this period and the Revolutionary War, a whole
century. Charles Winfield describes the people as "quiet, domes-
tic, unambitious, passing along through life adhering to truth,
honesty and fair dealing, cultivating their farms and rearing their
families in the fear of God and the doctrines of the old church
of their Fathers."
The following advertisement appeared in the "Weekly Jour-
nal" in January, 1735.: —
"Teetli drawn and old broken Stum.ps taken out very safely
and with much ease, by James Mills, who was instructed in that
art by the late James Reading, deceased, so fam'd for drawing of
teeth. He is to be spoke with at his shop in the house of the De-
cesed near the Old Slip Market" (New York).
This William Mills was considered the most skillful dentist
in these parts, and was patronized frequently by inhabitants of
BAYO N N E .
CENSUS OF BERGEN COUNTY IN 1737.*
Whites. Slaves and Other Negroes.
klales, above 16 939 Males, above 16 256
"emales, above 16 822 Females, above 16 203
ilales, under 16 820 Males, under 16 187
females, under 16 708 Females, under 16 160
7otal whites 3,289 Total slaves 806
Total population, 4,095.**
*Gordon's Gazeteer and History of New Jersey.
**One hundred and thirty-five years later, Bayonne's population ex-
Early Property Owners — Van Biiskirk Homestead — First Bank of
Constable's Hook — First Cemetery Laid Out — Tombstone Inscriptions;
Names and Dates — Slaves Bought and Sold — Newspaper Extracts — Early
Real Estate Speculation — Captain Kidd's Hill and Buried Treasures.
It appears that Samuel Edsall, who settled at Constable's
Hook about 1670 (see page — ), had a neighbor on the Hook a
few years later, who rented part of his property. In 1681 Hans
Harmense came from New Utrecht, L. I., to Constable's Hook,
with his wife, Willemtie Waernaers, widow of Hasmen of Bercke-
loo, and her children, Jannetie, Reymis, Harmen, Jan and William,
besides two children by this marriage, Tryntie (aged nine) and
Annetie (aged seven).* He erected a house, the location of which
is not certain, but in all probabilities it stood close to the Kills.
In searching through the genealogies of some of the early
families, the author finds that Arie, a son of Symon Jacobse (Van
Winkle, who came from Aliddleburgh, Zealand), was born at
Constable's Hook about 1691. This would indicate that this
family also lived at the Hook about this time, and were neighbors
of the Harmense family,
Hans Harmense was elected to the Assembly in 1692. On
*New Jersey Historical Society.
B A Y O N N E .
February 20, 1695-6,* he purchased from Edsall (who had re-
moved from Constable's Hook about 1690) nearly five hundred
acres of land at Constable's Hook, for £562.10.**
His daughter, Tryntie, was married to Pieter Van Boskerck,
son of Laurens Andriessen Van Boskerck (founder of the Van
Buskirk family who lived on the New York Bay shore near
present Greenville station). After the marriage, it is supposed
that Pieter built the old stone house that still stands on the south-
ern slope of Van Buskirk's Point, Constable's Hook, and lived
there with his wife. On May 24, 1694, Annetie^ another daugh-
ter of Hans Harmense, was married to Claas Hartman. She died
November 26, 1698, leaving one child, Hartman. Hans Har-
mense died in 1700. One-half of the Hook he willed to his
daughter Tryntie and the other half became the property of
In October, 1736, Pieter's wife died and he buried her in the
^•ard at the rear of the house.**** Through her, he inherited one-
half of the Hook, and the other half he purchased. He died in
July, 1738, and was buried beside his wife.
The old brown tombstones still stand ; the following illus-
tration shows them with their inscriptions as they look at the
The house that Peter is said to have erected was originally
Duilt previous to 1700, but additions have since been made to the
main building. It is the oldest building now standing in Bay-
Dnne, if not in eastern New Jersey. In the old Dutch style, its
mtiquated architecture is noticeable. A solid foundation of stone
masonry rises about five feet above the ground, on which rests a
frame and brick superstructure with massive joists and timbers
*New Jersey Archives. First Series, Vol. XXI.
**Winfield's Land Titles.
***Nc\v Jersey Historical Societ}'.
****Afterward converted into a cemetery.
and antique siding of shingles in regular old Dutch colony style.
A quaint old fireplace and high mantel, with curious carvings and
fancy tile decorations (since removed), alongside of which is an
old Spanish closet, have all been features of interest in the interior
r of Tb^^^
Jl.n .^ I e « ci II cJ c r .
J. f V /i k
Drawn by Kilwio H. Alexander.
The Graves of Pioxeer vSettlers.
of this old homestead. A secret underground closet is located in
a north room of the house. This was used to conceal persons
and effects whenever inquisitive visitors approached the place.
British troops were quartered in this house during the Revolution.
In the little school-room, children were taught their lessons, and
many an unruly boy has jumped out of the window and fled across
The old garden adjoined the house on the east. At the time
of the Revokition a hardy Box of considerable size grew in front
of the house.** There is a story that Mrs. Jonathan Van Bus-
kirk buried a pot of gold under its branches to prevent its falling
into the hands of unexpected visitors in the way of marauding
parties. This lay concealed so long that the lady quite forgot
the exact amount thus deposited in this, the First Bank of Con-
stable's Hook. Years afterwards, in spading up the garden, a
negro brought to the surface a number of golden guineas which
had been overlooked when the business of the bank was closed.***
The old dilapidated shed now adjoining the southwest end of
the house stood on the shore at that time. This building, it is
said, was used for the purpose of selling slaves, who were brought
over in ships which anchored off the mouth of the Kills. The
writer cannot vouch for this statement, but at any rate slaves were
bought and sold nearby. In the "Post Boy" of August 8, 1757,
appeared the following advertisement : —
"To Be Sold."
At Van Buskirk's, at Kil Van Kull, a Parcel of likely Negro
Slaves, Men, Women, Boys and Girls, just arrived from Guinea
in the Sloop "Williams," David Griffiths, Commander, Apply to
Rice Williams or the said David Griffiths."
The quaint old colony graveyard in the rear of the house was
laid out by Peiter's relatives. Here, some of the pioneer settlers
were buried. It was a beautiful little spot in those days, with its
*The Standard Oil Company are now the owners of Van Buskirk's
Point. Since writing the above, the old historic homestead has been torn
down to make way for immense oil tanks.
**This and another close by grew to be immense trees some five feet
in diameter, and remained there until blown down a few years ago.
*'^*This story appeared in the "Mudosn County Times" of June 13, 1873.
green grass and flowers and shady trees. It is now in a dilapi-
dated condition. Some of the old tombstones still stand, and the
wording is readable ; others have been blown down by the storms
and are covered with sandy soil. In this cemetery are the ances-
tors of the Van Buskirks, Latourettes, Vreelands, Garrabrants,
Zabriskies, La Granges, Cadmuses and others.
Following are the inscriptions on the stones over the re-
mains of some of the very early inhabitants : —
Here lies the Body
of Johannas La Grange
who deceased May
the 6th A. D. 1748
In the 84th Year of his
Here Lies ye Body of
Melye, wife of John
Lagrange who Died
February ye (?*) 1754
Aged about 40 years.
the Memory of
died the i8th of March
Aged 66 Years 6 Months
& 8 Days.
H ISTO RY O F
once located on the shores of the Kills, and the stockholders of
the company were confident of pocketing fabulous dividends.
Large sums of money were expended, but after a brief period the
company found their property mortgaged for near $400,000 and
all improvements stopped. Litigation followed, and in the end
the property was sold for only $70,000 to satisfy the creditors."*
A sea wall of masonry and its accompanying levee extended
from the old copper works as far as "Captain Kidd's Hill." A
dangerous place, known as "The False Kill," was then removed.
The construction of this sea wall stopped the overflow of the
meadows at high tide.
Captain Kidd's Hill was named after the celebrated pirate,
Captain Kidd. Stories of hidden treasures buried in the hill have
been told. In fact, "pots of gold have often been earnestly sought
after," and during the construction of the sea wall were reported
as found. *'^'
*Quoted from the "Hudson County Times" of June 20, 1873.
**The author has his doubts as to any truth in this tale, which years
ago was repeatedly recited to groups of wondering children by some loqua-
1776 — 1782.
Bergen Neck During the Revolution — Troops Stationed and Fort De-
lancey Erected — Trouble With Tories — Skirmishes Between American and
British Troops — Unlawfulness and Murders — Ward's Band — Attacks
Upon — Newspaper Extracts — Fort Delancey Evacuated.
Bergen Neck was important territory during the Revolu-
tionary War. In the spring of 1776 it was learned that the
British were preparing to sail for New York. Lord Sterling, in
command of the American forces at Bergen, undertook the de-
fense of Bergen and Bergen Neck. He personally examined the
ground at Bergen Neck and Paulus Hoeck on March 23, and
after a short period works were erected at these places, those on
Bergen Neck to prevent invasion from Staten Island. Here
Colonel Ford, with a force of about three hundred men, was
The following order, given in the spring of 1776, is proof
that at this time Bergen Point was occupied by portions of the
Continental Army : —
"Whereas the Asia having quitted her station, and left the
harbour, the navigation between this city and New Jersey, by the
Kills, is become quite safe ; the troops upon Staten Island and
Bergen Neck, are to let all boats coming to New York, or return-
ing to Jersey, to pass and re-pass without molestation. Given at
Head-Quarters in New York, 14th of April, 1776.
— New York "Gazette and Weekly Mercury," April 15,
The British fleet in command of General Howe arrived and
cast anchor olif the mouth of the Kill von Kull late in June, and
the troops landed on Staten Island. Shortly after their arrival
they placed a small guard with two six-pounders on Van Bus-
kirk's Point. This was the first landing-place of the British forces
in New Jersey. Troops were quartered in and arovmd the Van
Buskirk homestead, where plans of attack were made. Great ex-
citement was manifest along the Neck. The Tories hastened to
take sides with their King, while others did not dare to make
known for which side they stood, in fear of being murdered.**
Precautionary measures were being taken by the American
♦roops at this time. General Mercer was ordered on July 4 to
place a guard of five hundred men at Bergen Neck, to reinforce
the troops there. This post, afterward known as Fort Delancey,
was sistuated on a high piece of property between what is now
Fifty-first and Fifty-second Streets, about one hundred feet east
of the Speedway, and adjoining the property in rear of 99 West
When Mercer arrived, he found that Ford's force was not
sufficient, consequently the Pennsylvania militia and more Jersey
troops were sent to reinforce these men. General Mercer also
learned that many families at the Point and Hook were in con-
*Mew Jersey Archives. Second Series, Vol. I.
**There were only fourteen families in the entire length of Bergen
Neck who were pronounced patriots.
B A Y O N N E . 43
stnnt commimication with the British force on Staten Island and
with their ships at the mouth of the Kill.
In a sworn statement filed at Albany, dated June 29, 1776,
there appears : — "There is one Peter Van Buskirk Living at or
near the hook or mouth of the Kills in Bargain County who its
frequently said has followed trading with the men of war, who
. . . . Carrys people on Board when Ever Requested, and
has a sufficient Craft for that purpose."
This was Peter Van Buskirk. who with his brother Johannis
(sons of Andries Van Buskirk of Hook), were suspected of hold-
ing intercourse with the enemy. They were tried and acquitted
in July, 1776.
General Mercer planned to attack the enemy on Staten Island
on the night of July 18. Plan of attack was as follows: —
'■'Sixth. A party to attempt to surprise the enemy's guard
on Buskirk's Point, which is on the southeast corner of Bergen
Point ; this party, or guard, does not seem to be large, but it is
said they are possessed of two six-pounders. The party that
makes the attack must not attempt to go over the causeway or
road over the meadow, the cannon being in all probability ap-
pointed to command that pass, but should be provided with some
boards, and proceed in two or three columns over the meadow,
where they will meet with no other obstruction than a small creek
or ditch, which they will easily pass with the help of the boards.
If this place is carried, a cannonade and bombardment should, as
soon as possible, commence on the ships, a great number of which
now lie within reach of the place. A cannonade should also com-
mence on Bergen Point, opposite the church and Decker's, where
it is said about six hundred men are posted ; this cannonade, \\ith
round and grape shot, would confuse the troops in forming, and
prevent their succoring the guard at Elizabethtown Point, or
:)pposing our party who make their descent near Shutter's
Island. The cannonade should also be kept up on such parts of
the shore of Staten Island where any boats are collected or may
assemble. The party for these several matters on Bergen Neck
should be about seven hundred men, besides the riflemen."*
This attack was not made, however, for on that evening the
weather was very stormy and prevented his forces from crossing
the Kill von Kull.
Although other attacks were planned by the militia, none were
m.ade. However, the American troops stationed at Bergen Point
practiced occasionally on the enemy's fleet, as well as their camp
on Staten Island.
The following accounts appeared : —
"New York, July 22, 1776. Yesterday several Discharges of
Cannon and Musketry was heard in this City, and by the Appear-
ance of a Cloud of Smoak over Bergen Point, it is imagined our
People on the Jersey Shore have had a Skirmish with the Enemy,
from Staten Island."
"New York, July 25th.
"Our troops stationed on Bergen Point give the Ministerial
fleet and army some uneasiness, by firing at the tender, boats, etc.
It so galls and provokes them, that they return the fire with great
fury, but have not done the least damage to our people. Last
Lord's Day a great many shots were heard in this city and Bergen
Point. The occasion was this : A barge from the fleet, full of
men, landed on the Point,** but were opposed and driven off with
precipitation by our troops ; a smart fire ensued from a tender
for a considerable time, without doing any injury."***
In the "Pennsylvania Evening Post" of October i appears
this : —
*American Archives. Fifth Series.
**Aboiit Hobart Avenue.
***Ibid. Fifth Series.
B A Y O N N E .
". . . the same day (Wednesday last) there was a smart
firing from Bergen point at two tenders, a sloop and a schooner
that lay near Shutter's Island, at the mouth of Newark Bay."
Bergen Neck was evacuated by the American troops in Octo-
ber, 1776, shortly after the capture of New York by the British.
A letter written on October 4 says : — "To-morrow we evacu-
ate Bergen. . . . Bergen is the narrow neck of land accessible
on three sides by water, and exposed to a variety of attacks in
different places at one and the same time. A large body of the
enemy might infallibl}^ take possession of the place whenever they
pleased, unless we kept a stronger force than our number will
allow. The spot is not an object of our arms; if they attack, it
v/ould but cut off those who defended it and secure the grain and
military stores. These have been removed, and when we are gone,
a naked spot is all they will find."*
In April, 1777, Colonel Abraham Van Buskirk was in com-
mand of the British forces at Bergen Point.
The following incident, which occurred a few months later,
appeared in a Tory newspaper ; —
"Last Friday Night a Party of Rebels, consisting of some
Officers and twelve A/[en, proceeding on an Enterprize to seize
the Person of Wm. Van Buskirk, at Bergen Point, were inter-
cepted on their Return through the vigilance of Col. Turnbull,
Commander at Powles Hook, whose Men fired upon them, and
Mr. Livingston, said to be a junior Brother of Col. Livingston,
who was taken at Fort Montgomery, was killed on the spot, and
another Person, named Van Dolsan, taken Prisoner, who was
brought to Town the next Day, and safely lodged in the Provost.
"The above Gentry plundered several Houses in and about
Pemerapough particularly Barent Van Home, Mr. Vreeland, Mr.
*American Archives. Fifth Series.
an Wagenen, and Walter Clanderon^ and in the House last men-
Dned Mr. Livingston received his Wound."
— New York "Gazette and Weekly Mercury," December 8,
In this year the British forces occupied the works at Bergen
eck, which they called Fort Delancey in honor of Oliver De-
ncey, the great Tory of Westchester.* This was garrisoned
rincipally by Tories or "refugees," as they called themselves,
ho spent more time plundering and murdering their old neigh-
3rs, than in honorable warfare.
The following item goes to show that the whole district was
v^errun with spies and marauding parties, both of the British
id militia : —
"Last Wednesday, Jan. 13th, a Mr. Allen, ensign in the Rebel
-my, with three Jersey Militiamen, were apprehended on Bergen
oint by a party from Captain Anstrulher's company of the 26th
— "Rivington's Gazette," January 20, 1779.
In the winter of 1779-80 when fuel was very scarce in New
ork, Bergen Neck was covered with fine timber valued at £11
er acre. Consequently the Tories cut the timber and sold it to
le British in New York. Winfield says : — "To make it safe for
lem to enter upon their business, it was necessary to have re-
oubts, breastworks, or block houses into which they could re-
re at night and to which they might fly in case of attack by
ay." They occupied Fort Delancey with Captain Tom Ward
1 command. Ward was a notoriously vicious character, and his
and were the worst types of desperadoes and runaway slaves,
nd were greatly feared by the inhabitants. The character of
V^ard can be understood from the fact that on one occasion, on
*Winfi?ld's History of Hudson County.
becoming involved in a financial difficulty with a neighboring
farmer, he paid three of his negroes to murder him, which the)
did with terrible cruelty.
This whole territory was overrun with these notorious char-
acters and was the scene of murders, robberies and all kinds oi
outrageous acts. Farm houses were -looted and several were de-
stroyed by fire. The old Close homestead on Twentieth Street wa;
one of several houses that figured conspicuously during the war
It was "marked" to be burned, but somehow escaped destruction
Constable's Hook was an important place at this time, anc
was also the center for numerous executions both lawkil and un-
lawful. In 1779 Thomas Long, a New Jersey Tory, was hung
on a persimmon tree near the old tide mill at this place. Stepher
Ball, of Rah way, was falsely accused by Hatfield's party (alsc
Tories with bad reputations) as being a spy, and was executed
or rather murdered, by them on Bird's Point, Constable's Hook
January 25, 1781.
Ward's plunderers, thieving and raiding by night at Berger
Point, Pembrepogh, Elizabetbtown, Newark and along Berger
liill, kept the people terror-stricken.
Pembrepogh was the scene of numerous skirmishes betweer
his band and the militia. In October, 1780, a small battle toot
place here. About one hundred and fifty American troops cam(
over the King's Highway along Newark Bay to attack and cap-
ture Ward, if possible. They were discovered approaching
through the woods, and were immediately fired upon by the occu-
pants of the fort. A company of British in small boats anchorec
in Newark Bay, hearing the firing, started a cannonade. Fear-
ing an attack from that direction by an overwhelming number, th(
militia retreated, doing little damage to the refugee post.
A Tory account of the aft'air was described as follows in th(
New York "Gazette and Weekly Messenger," October 16: —
"On Saturday morning last the Refugee Post at Bergen
'oint under command of Captain Thomas Ward, was attacked
ly a party of rebel infantry and horse consisting of about 200
len. After receiving a smart fire from the artillery and mus-
:etry of the Refugees, assisted by a cannonade from the gallies*
hey were forced to retreat."
An extract from the New York "Packet," August 30, 1781 : —
Last Friday night a party went from Newark and captured two
loops lying near the Refugee Post on Bergen shore, out of which
hey took 8 prisoners, who were sent to Morristown."
The "New Jersey Journal" of September 5, 1781, says: —
Last Wednesday night a party of Ward's plunderers from Ber-
;^en Neck, came to the neighborhood of Hackensack, where they
;ollected a number of cattle which the inhabitants retook and
:illed and wounded several of the miscreants."
A few months later, after one of the raids, the following news
tern appeared in the "New Jersey Journal" under date of De-
ember 12, 1 781 : — "Last Thursday sennight Captain Baker Hen-
iricks, with a party of men in whale boats went down Newark
Bay near the Kills, where he boarded and stripped two wood boats
md took one prisoner, and on Thursday night last, he landed a
;mall party of men at Bergen Neck, near the Refugees Post,**
vhere he took two prisoners ; and on his return took three noted
In the same paper on February 13, 1782, there also ap-
peared : — "Last Thursday morning a detachment of the Jersey
Brigade, under Capt. Bowmay, who were joined by a party of
nilitia, went across the vSound (meaning Newark Bay) on the ice
:o the Refugees Post on Bergen Neck, where they captured three
*The British gallies patroled Newark Bay to protect Bergen Neck.
**Foot of West Fifty-sixth Street was a favorite landing place.
H ISTO RY O F
of the miscreants, one of whom was of a sable hue ; they bayon-
ctted the negro, who refused to surrender. No artifice could in-
Drawn by Edwin H. Alexaoder.
BAYO N N E . 51
luce them to sally out, therefore no. other trophies were obtained
:han those above mentioned."
A Tory account of the same occurrence follows : —
"On Thursday morning before sunrise, two hundred Rebels
"rom a New Jersey Brigade, attacked Fort De Lancey, commanded
)y Major Ward. They had meditated the attack for some time
md lay for two nights upon their arms. The advanced sentinel,
I negro, was bayonetted. They were driven off. They then
:ormed in three columns on the ice, were again attacked and
— New York "Mercury," February 11, 1782,
On the night of March 29, 1782, still another fight took place.
50me Newark militia in whale boats landed at about where Fifty-
ourth Street now is. Here they captured seven prisoners who
odged in houses along the shore. A party was sent out from
S^ort Delancey to intercept them, and was fired upon. On their
•eturning the fire they killed and wounded four of their own men
vho were prisoners, besides two or three of the militia, who made
heir escape over the darkened waters.*
Fort Delancey was evacuated and burned by the Refugees
hemselves in September, 1782, and the following month Ward
md his despised followers embarked for Nova Scotia.
The ruins of this old fort remained comparatively a long
:ime, but now there is nothing left to indicate that a fortification
)f any kind stood on this site. Recently a rusty cannon ball was
inearthed from under an old tree in front of No. 90 West Firty-
;econd Street. Besides this, an old bayonet and portion of a cap
vere dug up on the neighboring property. No doubt the property
n this locality and that running toward Newark Bay contains
•imilar relics buried under a few feet of soil.
*Rivington Gazette No. 573.
32 HISTORY OF
Peace— Washington Greeted by the Inhabitants on His Way to New
York— Slavery Declared— Immigration and Education— War of 1812— First
Manufacturing Concern at Constable's Hook— Extreme Cold— Humor of
This section played no other important part during the Revo-
In April, 1789, when George Washington journeyed to New
York on the occasion of his inauguration as first President of the
United States, his route led him through New Jersey to Elizabeth-
town Point (Elizabethport), and thence through the Kill von Kull
and New York Bay to New York.
The local inhabitants and those in Bergen began to arrive on
the Bergen Point shore early in the day, so as not to miss the
opportunity of seeing their beloved leader and cheer him on his
Daniel Van Winkle, in his history of "Old Bergen," de-
scribes the occasion thus : — "His (Washington's) whole journey
w^as in the nature of a triumphal procession, but nowhere was his
reception more enthusiastic or his greetings more sincere than
on his passage from the Point through the Kills. He embarked
in a barge, splendidly decorated, and conveyed by others, with
flags and music. As he entered the Kills, between Staten Island
and Bergen Point, the procession was met by other boats from the
shores, gay with bunting. From the shores of Bergen Point,
which were lined with the citizens of 'Old Bergen,' he was greeted
with the booming of cannon, waving of flags and loud huzzas of
the people. Their joy knew no bounds, and until the procession
receded in the distance, their applause and rejoicing continued."
The following act was published by G. Craft at Trenton in
1798, and throws some light on the great question which in after
years the people of this country had to confront. It begins : —
"An Act, respecting Slaves.
"Be it enacted by the Council and General Assembly of this
State, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same. That
every negro, Indian, mulatto or mestee, within this state, who, at
the time of passing this act, is a slave for his or her life, shall
continue such during his or her life, unless he or she shall be manu-
mited and set free in the manner prescribed by law.
"Passed at Trenton, March 14, 1798."
It was not long after peace had been declared that home-
seekers from different parts of the State began to arrive, and
farms gradually increased in number. Grounds were cleared of
timber, fields were cultivated and a thriving section soon de-
The wise old Dutchmen and Englishmen were not slow in
realizing the necessity of educating their children. Those located
near Bergen Town marched their children off to the rude school
there, and those in Pembrepogh and along Bergen Neck taught
their children the best they knew how at home.
The following examples are specimens of those used in the
instruction of that day : — •
"A gentleman a chaise did buy,
A horse and harness too ;
They cost the sum of threescore pounds,
Upon my word 'tis true.
The harness came to half of th' horse.
The horse twice of the chaise ;
And if you find the price of them,
Take them and go your ways."
"Answer: — Chaise, 15I. ; Horse, 30I. ; Harness, 15I."
"Seven gentlemen who were traveling, met together by
chance, at a certain inn upon the road, where they were so well
pleased with their host, and each other's company, that in a frolic
they offered him 30I. to stay at that place so long as they, together
with him, could sit every day at dinner in a different order. The
host thinking that they could not sit in many different positions,
because there were but few of them, and that himself would
make no considerable alteration ; he being but one, imagined that
he should make a good bargain, and readily, for the sake of a
good dinner, and better company, entered into an agreement with
them and so made himself the eighth person. I demand how long
they staid at the inn, and how many different positions they sat
in? Answer: — The number of positions were 40,320 and the
time they staid was no years, 142 J/^ days; allowing the year to
consist of 365 days, 6 hours."
"A Grocer's Bill.
"Bought of Thomas Hartley, May 19, 181 1.
s. d. I. s. d.
3 lb. of Raisins of the Sun at o 5 per lb. 34
IS lb. of Malaga Raisins at o 4V2 " 057^
10 lb. of Currants at o 6j4 " 055
11 lb. of Sugar at o 4?/^ " o 411^
2 Sugar Loaves, wt. 15 lb at o 9 " 11 3
13 lb. of Rice at 3 " 033
5 lb. of Black Pepper at: 6 " 076
10 oz. of Cloves at o 10 per oz. o 84
The War of 1812 did not disturb the inhabitants, although
much excitement was shown. At this time the Hazard Powder
house* was located at Constable's Hook on Kill von Kull, and
was the first manufacturing concern in this locality. It sup-
*In after years part of this building was used for prize-fights, dog
fights, etc. ; only a few years ago it was torn down.
plied great quantities of gunpowder to ships, as well as Fort Jay
on Governor's Island and forts on Ellis' and Bedloe's Islands.
Slaves were made free by a law in 1820, but most of those
who were formerly slaves in these parts remained with their
owners, to work for a living.
There was an extreme cold wave in January, 1821 ; New
York* and Newark Bays were frozen solid. Many persons
crossed the ice from New York, and a half way house was erected
for the accommodation of travelers crossing the ice, according to
Shaw's "History of Hudson County."
In looking through the New Jersey Almanac, printed in
Elizabethtown in 1826, the author finds the following: — "How to
destroy Flies — A Frenchman who sold powder for killing flies,
gives the following recipe : 'Catch de fly and tickle him under de
troat, and when he opens his mout to laugh, trow in de powdre
and it will choke him."
*New York Bav, previous to this time, was called Oyster Bay, named
so because of its abundant supply of oysters in colonial days.
Description in 1830 — Pursuits — Cholera — Boundary Line in New York
Bay — Morris Canal Through — Hudson County Erected — New Cemetary —
Town Officials Chosen in 1855.
At this time farms were established and flourishing. A
fringe of farmhouses ran along the shore and a few along the
middle road. Constable's Hook was Van Buskirk property, and
several farms were situated there. Terhune's grist mill was
situated at the Hook. Here the farmers in the neighboring coun-
try took their grain to be ground. Frank Miller kept a store at
Bergen Point (now Avenue C and First Street). His building
was just east of the Latourette House. He kept groceries, to-
baccOj etc. In the rear of his property, Berger, a Frenchman,
kept a cider press. Children on their way to school would stop
here and suck cider through a straw to their full capacity. An
apple orchard stood on both sides of the road at that time. Hart-
man Vreeland's tavern was situated at about Forty-ninth Street.
There was no postoffice. The inhabitants had to go or send to
Jersey City for their mail. Abraham Van Buskirk and Colonel
Cadmus each kept a few slaves, and John Van Buskirk, of the
Hook, kept about a dozen. In these days, the inhabitants gos-
siped about local affairs principally, for outside news was scarce.
When some one had been "in town" and returned with a New
York "Evening Post," that person was usually surrounded by a
group, eagerly listening as the news was read aloud. Worship
vas held every Sabbath in the "new" Bergen Neck Reformed
"hurch on the Bergen Point Road, where the folks went "to hear
Minister Boyce preach."
Hon. Anthony H. Ryder describes the inhabitants in Shaw's
H[istory of Hudson County as follows : — "The current of life ran
:venly at the fireside. There sat the venerable Bergener, silently
Duffing his pipe, looking into the fire with half-shut eyes, medi-
;ating for hours together ; the good Vrouw, on the opposite side,
vould employ the time in spinning yarn or knitting stockings.
In their quiet way, the inhabitants are said to have fol-
owed their callings, principally agriculture. Shad fisheries and
:he oyster groimds furnished fields for busy enterprise and a
They enjoyed life, too. Currie's Woods was the objective
)oint for picnics, and the good, old-fashioned Dutch descendants,
kvith their families, would participate in a day's rolicking. The
boys, upon growing up, would be sent out to learn a trade, but
evidently it was a hard matter in those days to keep an apprentice
:o his work. Whether it was because of hard masters, or stubborn
dispositions on the part of the boys, it is difficult to say. The fol-
owing advertisement appeared in the Newark "Daily Advertiser,"
Tuesday, February 28, 1837: —
"One Cent Reward.
"Ran away from the subscriber on or about the middle of
.August last an indented apprentice to the Harness, Collar and
Whip making business, named Joseph Smith. Said apprentice is
about 4 ft. 5 or 6 inches high, dark hair and eyes, aged about 14
years. Whoever will return said apprentice shall receive the
above reward but no charges.
"Shugard & Macknet."
*See Chapters 19 and 20 for early religious affairs and travel.
Another one that was published about the same time reads : —
"One Cent Reward.
Ran away on the 21st inst. from the employment of the Sub-
scribers an Indented Apprentice to the Sash and Blind making
Business, named Wm. A. Perry. Said boy is about 5 feet 4 inches
high, rather slim built, is fond of Rum, and too lazy to work. All
persons are forbid to harbor or trust said boy, under the penalty
of the law.
"Merchant & Roff."
Cholera visited this section during the years 1830 and 1832,
resulting in numerous deaths.
By an act of Congress, approved June 28, 1834, the boundary
line between New Jersey and New York was finally settled. This
gave New York exclusive control over the waters of New York
Bay, Bedloe and Ellis' Islands, and the waters of Kill von Kull,
between Staten Island and New Jersey, while to New Jersey was
given the ownership of land under the waters west of the middle
of the bay and Hudson River.
In Gordon's Gazetteer of New Jersey appears the following
short description in 1834: —
"Pamrepau, small scattering settlement, in Bergen t-ship,
Bergen Co., on New York bay, about 5 miles below Jersey City,
occupied by descendants of the original Dutch settlers."
In 1835, John Carragan, who conducted a little school at the
junction of what is now Avenue D and Twenty-fourth Street,
started a store in the rear of A. Dege's present store on Avenue D
near Twenty-second Street. This was among the first, if not the
first, general shop in Bayonne, and was patronized quite freely.
In 1836, the Morris Canal, bounding Bayonne on the north,
was put through.
At this time Bergen County extended as far south as Con-
stable's Hook. In 1840, by legislative enactment, part of Bergen
County, including the Bergen Neck, was changed and erected
into County of Hudson, so named in commemoration of Henry
In 1849, the dreaded cholera again broke out and was not
checked until numerous deaths Iiad resulted from it. In conse-
quence, "Cobby" James Van Buskirk, of the Hook, laid out the
new burial grounds on Constable's Hook, East Twenty-second
Street and Avenue I.
At the annual town meeting in the spring of 1855, it was de-
cided to hold the spring and fall elections at Egbert Wauters'
hotel on the Plank Road, to elect three constables, and to raise
$3,300 for support of schools, $500 for repairs to roads, and $300
for the poor. James H. Farrant, George Anderson and Aaron
Y. P. Jones were elected as Town constables. Other officials
chosen that spring were : — Chosen Freeholders, Mindert Van
Horn, Jacob A. Van Horn ; Superintendent of Schools, John
Welsh ; Commissioners of Appeal, Hartman Van Wagenen, Will-
iam Stringham, Edmund C. Bramhall ; Assessor, James W.
Welsh ; Town Clerk, Abraham P. Newkirk ; Judge of Election,
James M. Jones ; Justice of the Peace, Francis P. Miller ; Sur-
veyors of Highways, Richard Vreeland, Daniel Van Winkle ;
Collector, Henry R. Welsh ; Pound-Keepers, George Anderson,
John V. H. Clendenny, James H. Farrant ; Overseers of the Poor,
James J, Van Boskirk, Abraham Speer ; Overseers of Highways,
Abraham P. Vreeland, James J. Van Boskirk, Henry Brinker-
hoff , Henry G. Van Reypen, Hartman Van Wagenen ; Town Com-
mittee, Andrew P. Simonson, John Brinkerhoff, Garret Van Horn,
Henry Newkirk, Winfield Stringham, Daniel Vreeland, John
Mandeville, Peter Rowe, Garret G. Newkirk, William Stringham,
Nicholas S. Vreeland, Peter Jones ; Game-Keepers, Benjamin
Hueston, John Wauters, Michael J. Vreeland.*
'Shaw's History of Hudson County.
Act to Lay Out Streets — School Improvements — Bayonne Set Off as a
Township — Origin of Name — Township Government — General Description.
We next come to a period of great importance in the erec-
tion of what is now Bayonne City.
An act had been passed by the Legislature, and approved
March 16, 1857, "authorizing the appointment of commissioners
to lay out and map streets, avenues and squares in that part of
Bergen Township south of the Morris Canal in Hudson County,"
and the Commissioners thus appointed were Andrew D. Mellick,
Jacob A. Van Horn, Jacob M. Vreeland, Hartman Vreeland and
Egbert Wauters, who were required to compkte their work
within two years from the passage of the act. By a supplement
to this act, approved April 7, 1868, Hiram Van Buskirk, Solon
Humphreys, Henry Meigs, Jr., John Combes and Erastus Ran-
dall were appointed Commissioners, and their powers were pre-
scribed "to cease on the first day of May, eighteen hundred and
On May 25, 1857, a plot of ground fronting on Dodge and
Fifth Streets, containing about 13^ city lots, was procured from
Rosewell Graves for the site of a school house, and a Building
Committee, duly appointed, was directed to build and furnish a
district school house thereon, the cost of which, including the lots,
was not to exceed three thousand dollars. By the report of the
BAYO N N E . 6i
rreasurer of the Board of School Trustees, dated March 4, i860,
t was shown that the new building and furniture for District
school No. 5 cost $2,190.86, and 13% lots of ground occupied,
1831.50; total cost, $3,025.36.*
This building for many years was known as the First Ward
chool house and is now located on Dodge Street in rear of No. 4
irick school, near its old site. About one hundred scholars at-
ended, and there were two teachers. It was used for a time as
. police station for the Fourth Ward, and later converted into a
On March 15, 1861, by an act of Legislature, the Township
if Bayonne was set off from the town of Bergen. The same year,
Ubert M. Zabriskie was appointed the first Chosen Freeholder of
There has been some doubt as to the signification of the word
laming the locality. It may have derived its name from Bayonne
n France, being pronounced Ba-yon'. There is a story that
''rench Huguenots settled here some time before New Amsterdam
vas settled. They are said to have remained about a year.
rhis, however, is probably some old fireside legend, without a
)article of truth in it. The author has searched, but can find
lothing to give this story foundation. He is also told that when
irastus Randall, E. C. Bramhall and B. F. Woolsey bought the
and owned by Jasper and William Cadmus, for real estate specu-
ation, they called it Bayonne by reason of its touching the
(Orders and being on the shores of two bays, Newark and New
L^ork — hence Bay-on, or on the bays. This, in all probability, is
he real origin of the name.
*From the first Directory and Manual of Bayonne, piiblislicd 1879-80
y the Bayonne Printing Company.
62 HISTORY OF
The first elected Committeemen of the Township of Bayonne
held their first meeting for the transaction of business April 13,
1861, at the house of H. B. Beaty, in Centreville.* Present —
Hartman Vreeland, Ebenezer G. Ferris, William L. Beaumont,
De Witt C. Morris, Peter Vreeland, Hiram Van Buskirk, Clerk.
Hartman Vreeland was elected chairman, and William Beaumont
Treasurer ; there being, at the election, a tie vote for Committee-
man between Jacob A. Van Horn and De Witt C. Morris, Mr. Van
Horn declined serving and De Witt C. Morris was appointed as a
member of the Committee by a unanimous vote of the Board.**
At the time of Bayonne being erected into a township, it was
composed of Saltersville*** (now the Third Ward), Centreville,
Bergen Point and Constable's Hook. About this time, there were
only three stores in this entire section. One was kept by Michael
Mullaney at Saltersville. Another was in Centerville, and kept
by Hansan Carragan. Robert A. Ansart was proprietor of
the third, located at Bergen Point. Later, G. D. L. Zabriski
opened a country store on the old Plank Road opposite the La
Tourette House stables. These stores kept a supply of every-
thing from a wooden button up, including hardware, tinware, dry
goods, boots, shoes, clothing and tobacco. Apple jack was sold at
twenty-five cents a bottle. A post-oftice was in most of these
stores, and the folks would congregate to get their mail and gossip
about the oyster war. A two-horse express carried the mail to
and from New York each day.
A bucket company was the only means of fire protection.
On First Street there stood an edifice, originally designed for
*Named so for reason of its being in a central location.
**First Directory and Manual of Bayonne.
***Saltersville was named after David Salter, who lived at and erected
a number of houses in Pamrapo.
B A Y O N N E . 6-,
1 lecture hall and during many years serving as a school house.
This was the first school in Bergen Point. It was east of the
residence of Sheriff Garretson. The Bergen Point Lyceum met
it this hall for several seasons. This was an institution organized
:o promote mutual instruction among the members, the ordinary
:?xercises consisting of debates and lectures. Straw rides, sleigh-
ing parties, corn husking parties and singing classes occupied the
:ime of the younger set. These elements were centralized at the
La Tourette House, especially during the summer.
Bayonne was indeed a farmer's paradise; flourishing farms
:iere and there ; men and boys working in the fields ; cows in the
3astures, feeding ; fields of waving corn, with a bay on either
side ; birds singing merrily in the woods ; the occasional bark of
1 dog ; the neigh of a horse ; the crow of a rooster ; the rattle of
nilk cans; a "Gee-up" and "Ho" — these were the things that
:onfronted one when traveling along the old Plank Road in days
>f yore. Bergen Point was "the town," and the section north of
Fourteenth Street, which was two-thirds woods, was the "coun-
ry," in which there were scattered a few houses.
At this period school was also held in the old frame building
vhich stands in the rear of Hudson Engine House on Avenue D.
rhe teacher received $400 per year. In 1855, Brooks, father of
Police Inspector Brooks of New York, was the teacher. John E.
\ndrus (now Mayor of Yonkers) taught this school a few years
ater. Another school stood at Avenue E and Grand and Centre
Streets. At the close of 1861 the township could boast of three
listrict schools, three teachers and 596 pupils.
Fish's Lane, in Pamrapo, received its name from Captain
R.obert Fish, who lived there. His house is still standing. He
milt the tower on it to get out of reach of the mosquitoes.
Civil War — Close Light Guards — Excitement During War — First Port
Johnson Coal Dock.
Rumors of war with the South, at this period, were freely
discussed among the inhabitants. War was the topic everywhere.
It was talked about in the meeting-house, in the store, by the fire-
side at home, and in the fields. Farming was neglected.
In the spring of 1861, the great Civil War broke out. Mid-
dle-aged men and youths hastened to enlist, while the old men
and boys remained at home to work the farm.
The local military company, called the Close Light Guards,*
was merged into Company E of the Second New Jersey, in April,
to serve for three months. This company drilled at the Mansion
House, then located on Grand Street, Pamrapo. In August,
1862, most of them re-enlisted for nine months' service in Com-
pany C, Twenty-first New Jersey. They were sent to Washing-
ton. Others enlisted in New York and Jersey City.
During the war, the post-office was beseiged with anxious
inhabitants for letters from their loved ones guarding the Capitol
and on the fighting border. New York newspapers, such as the
"Tribune," "Herald" and "Post," were bought and read with
eagerness. Food products went up. Milk was sold at thirty
cents per quart, yeast as high as twenty cents, and tea at $1.50.
♦Named after J. B. Close, a local resident.
A military company wearing the French uniform, called the
Duryea Zouaves, camped for nearly a year on the property now
used as a picnic grove on the Newark Bay shore in Pamrapo.
This company was not composed of local men. They were a
rough lot, and always in mischief. The inhabitants were not sorry
at their departure.
At last the long years of war passed by, and the sur-
vivors returned home. There was great rejoicing, except for
those who had lost their dear ones. The little township had done
its first important duty, and that was in serving its country.
The first coal dock at Port Johnston (on the Kill) was com-
pleted and in operation in July, 1866. This place became one of
the principal coal depots in the country. It was named in honor
of the President of the C. R. R. of N. J. at that time.
Incorporated as a City — Charter Submitted to the People — Newspaper
Extracts — First City Officials — Last Meeting of Township Committee Men —
Organization of City Government — Important Ordinances — Assessed Valu-
ation of Property in 1869 — Public Improvements — First Police Chief —
First Annual Tax Assessment — Organization of Fire Department — First
The steady growth of population in the Township of Bayonne,
which in 1865 numbered 1,700, was thought by the majority to
warrant a charter for a city government. Accordingly, a few
years later, after a little effort on the part of certaiii individuals,
"An act to incorporate the city of Bayonne" was passed by the
Legislature, and approved March 10, 1869.
The city was divided into three wards, and power was vested
in the Mayor and Council to increase the number of wards. The
charter provided for the election of a Mayor and Recorder as city
officials, and for the election in each ward, as ward officers, of two
Councilmen, a Constable, Pound-Keeper, Commissioner of Ap-
peals, Tax Assessor,* and three Inspectors of Election ; also a
*It might be of interest to note here the taxable property in 1868:
Lands valued by the acre $2,021,000
Houses and lots valued at 604,750
Personal property 284,425
School Trustee in each ward. By the charter, the school trustees
of the several wards were constituted and called a Board of
On Friday, March 19, 1869, the new charter of the city was
submitted to the people, and was ratified by a vote of 225 to 34.
The following item appeared in the New York "Times,"
Saturday, March 20, 1869: —
"The charter for the city of Bayonne was ratified yesterday
by a popular vote, — 225 having- voted for it, to 34 against. The
new city consists of the neck of land known as Bergen Point, and
embraces a population of 4,000 souls. The charter provides for
the election of a Mayor and AJdermen every two years. The city
is divided into three wards, and will have four or five special Con-
In the Jersey City "Evening Journal" of Monday, March 29,
1869, this paragraph is found : —
"The new city stands so appalled at the sudden greatness
thrust upon it — a stake with plentiful condiments, spring birds,
springing frogs and in one word, sprung rum, that movements
for the corporative officers are very slow."
Apparently, from old newspaper accounts, chicken thieving
was practised very frequently. In the "Evening Journal" (Jer-
sey City) of March 4, 1869, there appears:; —
"Chicken thieves are still numerous in this neighborhood.
Two darkies were found at this game, night before last, one of
whom had his coattail shot off. 'Nigger Bill' swears he don't
like fowl any more — give him soft clams."
On March 12, in the same paper, the author finds: —
"A police is wanted to protect the inhabitants from chicken
*First Directory and Manual of Bayonne.
thieving, which is principally laid to the account of the darkies
infecting what is called the 'negro settlement.' "
Horse racing was a chief sport. The Plank Road was the
scene of many a lively contest. In the Jersey City "Evening
Journal" of Monday, March 29, 1869, is found this : —
"Racing, — this sport, so gratifying to the sporters but terrify-
ing to youngsters, was lively on the Plank road yesterday. Several
accidents occurred which did not result in any material damage.
Why not take the back road?"
The following is an item which also appeared about this time
in the "Hudson County Times" : —
"A milkman in Hudson City has adopted a new and some-
what novel method of giving his customers fresh milk. He drives
his cows from door to door and allows each to milk the required
amount and then water and chalk to suit their taste."
The first election under the original city charter was held
Tuesday, April 13, 1869. The following were elected: —
Henry Meigs, Jr., on the Citizens' Ticket,*
William D. Myers.
President, Jacob R. Schuyler.
Rufus Story, William L. Beaumont.
Jacob R. Schuyler, Charles C. Hough.
John Combs, Joseph Els worth.
*A copy of Mayor Meigs' speech of acceptance, dated April 26, 1869,
is among the collections of the New Jersey Historical Society.
City Clerk, Francis I. Smith.
City Treasurer, Samuel T. Brown.
Collector of Revenue, John H. Carragan.
Street Commissioner, Hiram Van Buskirk.
City Surveyor, Emmet Smith.
City Attorney, William H. Johnston.
City Council, Leon Abbett.
Overseer of Poor, Edward Perry.
Board of Education.
President, Frederick G. Payn.
Secretary, William D. Myers.
Frederick G. Payn, David C. Halsted,
John Van Buskirk, Jr., Nathan Bartlett,
Cornelius H. Vreeland.
WilHam D. Myers, Joshua S. Jones,
John W. Russell.
The last meeting of the Board of Committeemen for the
township was held April 26, 1860. The minutes of this meeting
closed thus : —
"The Board at half past eight o'clock adjourned, sine die,
harmony and good will prevailing. (Signed) E. C. Bramhall,
Chairman ; F. I. Smith, Township Clerk."
On April 26, 1869 (then beginning of the Councilmanic term
according to the charter), the Mayor and Councilmen-elect assem-
bled at Carragan's Hall (called Council Hall), at Avenue D and
what was then Twenty-seventh Street (now Twenty-second), for
the purpose of organizing in compliance with the charter, and a
thorough organization was effected.
The First City Hall and Later the Public Library.*
In June, the following ordinance was passed : —
"To fix the Salaries of Officers, for the year ending the first Mon-
day of May, 1870.
"The Mayor and Council of the City of Bayonne do ordain
as follows :
"Sec. I. There shall be paid to the several officers named in
this section, the following annual salaries, to be paid in quarterly
installments, to wit :
"To the Recorder for the first, being the present year, the sum
of three hundred dollars ; for the second year, the sum of four
hundred dollars; for the third year the sum of five hundred
*This building was originally built by George Carragen & Co., gro-
cers, in 1867, and occupied by them until 1873. The Free Public Library
entered it in 1802.
"To the City Clerk the sum of eight hundred dollars.
"To the Collector of Revenue, the sum of six hundred dollars.
"To the Treasurer, the sum of six hundred dollars.
"To the Corporation Attorney, the sum of two hundred
"Sec. 2. To the Judges of Election of the several Wards,
the sum of six dollars each, for their services as rendered at each
"To the Ward Clerks of the several Wards, the sum of seven
and one-half dollars each, for their services as rendered at each
"To the Assessor of the First Ward, the sum of one hundred
and twenty-five dollars.
"To the Assessor of the Second Ward, the sum of one hun-
dred and twenty-five dollars.
"To the Assessor of the Third Ward, the sum of one hun-
dred and twenty-five dollars.
"To the Commissioner of Appeals in cases of taxation, the
sum of five dollars for each day employed.
"To the Board of Commissioners of Assessments shall be
paid the sum of ten dollars for each assessment to be assessed
upon the property included in each assessment for which the
services are rendered.
"Passed June ii, 1869.
"Approved June 15, 1869.
"Attest : F. I. Smith, Henry Meigs,
By an ordinance passed June 22, 1869, the first Board of
Health was created in the city.
About this time it was deemed necessary to have police to
patrol the city. An ordinance was passed therefor, on August 31,
Bird's Eye Vj.
B A Y O N N E
:H in 1S75.
OourU'Sj ot Bsyoone Times,
74 HISTORY OF
1869, to establish and regulate a Police Department. A few
months later, George B. Whitney was appointed Chief of Police.
Michael Connolley and C. Van Horn were appointed patrolmen
by Mayor Meigs at the same time. This, then, was the organiza-
tion of the police force. The population had now grown to 3,834.
The first annual tax assessment (exclusive of poll tax) under
city charter for the year ending May 4, 1870, was fixed by or-
dinance passed in September, 1869, and amounted to $31,620. It
was composed of the following : — Payment of interest, $4,935 ;
payment of salaries, $3,335; printing, $1,000; public schools,
$8,000 ; street repairs, $5,000 ; support of poor, $500 ; Map and
Grade Commission, .$5,000; day and night police, $2,100; city
prison and lockup, $500; election purposes, $150; public health,
$100; contingent expenses, $1,000.
On December 14, 1869, the Council removed and first met to
transact public business in the City Hall room (Hendrickson's
building) on Avenue D, corner of Maple Avenue (now Thirty-first
Street), and they continued to hold their meetings at that place
for the next five years.
The first Bayonne newspaper was the "Bayonne Herald and
Greenville Register," which was first issued December 25, 1869,
as a weekly, with Roswell Graves as editor.*
In the winter of 1869-70, Public School No. 2, on Avenue D,
between Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Streets, was erected at a
cost of $12,000. No. 5 School at Constable's Hook was also
erected about this time, and was opened for use in 1870.
In August, 1870, the "Hudson County Times," weekly, was
established and published at Bergen Point by the Times Printing
Company of Jersey City.**
*Now published at Bergen Point as a weekly democratic paper Owned
and edited by Col. H. C. Page.
**Now published by the Bayonne Printing and Publishing Company
(J. T. R. Proctor, Editor) at Avenue D and Thirty-first Street, as a daily
republican paper, called the Bayonne "Daily Times."
In November, 1870, an ordinance was passed "to Establish,
Regulate and Control a Fire Department." The first fire com-
pany was organized in Pamrapo, with a membership of about
thirty-five, and was called Truck I. "Hope Hose" Company No.
2 (named after Col. Hope, of N. J. C. R. R.) was organized soon
after. This company occupied the former frame school building
which stox)d on the site of "Hudson" Company's present building.
It is now in the rear and used as a stable. About the same time,
the "Kid Glove" Chemical Engine Company, No. I, was organ-
ized, and had their quarters in Schuyler Hall, Bergen Point. The
Fire Department in 1870, therefore, had three apparatus, with a
total of about one hundred and twenty men, and was volunteer.
P'ire alarms were sounded by the church bells. Steel locomotive
tires, cut and hung by chains, were also struck with sledge ham-
mers ; one being near the Thirty-third Street station, another at
"Hudson" Company's present building, and another in Pamrapo.
The first sewer main was known as the Cottage Street sewer,
and was built in 1 870-1 871.
No. 4 School, on Fifth Street, was erected shortly after No. 2,
at a cost of $16,000, and was opened in September, 1871. The
old frame school house on Dodge Street was then converted into
an engine house. Shortly after this School No. 3 was erected in
Pamrapo on Centre Street, at a cost of about $17,000. One thou-
sand children attended the public schools at this time.
From the time the city was surveyed and laid out, in 1869,
public improvements progressed very rapidly. Streets and ave-
nues were opened and graded, including the two principal thor-
oughfares, Avenues D and C ;* sidewalks were flagged and
curbed ; crosswalks were laid ; sewers constructed, and gas pipes
*An ordinance was passed December 7, 1869, "to open, regulate and
grade Avenue D from Cottage Street to the Morris Canal." On June 21.
1870, an ordinance was passed "to open, regulate and grade Avenue C from
North Avenue to the ]\Iorris Canal."
76 HISTORY OF
Cost of Living in 1871.
Four, wheat, per barrel $10.75
Tea, Oolong-, per pound .70
Beef, roasting-, per pound .19
Lard, per pound .15
Potatoes, per bushel 1.02
Milk, per quart .08
Eggs, per dozen .30
Coal, per ton 9.25
Pine wood, per cord 7.00
Cotton flannel, per yard -273^
Men's heavy boots, per pair 4.00
BAYO N N E . 77
1872 — 1879.
Revised Charter — First Street Gas Lamps — School Improvements —
First Fire Chief — Fourth Ward Created — Newspaper Extracts.
On March ■22, 1872, a revised charter was approved, which
provided that all the powers and authority vested in the so-called
Map and Grade Commissioners, upon the expiration of their term
of office, should then and thereafter be vested in the Mayor and
Council. The Commissioners continued in office until May i,
1873, when their term of office expired. =•= Their duties then de-
volved upon the Board of Councilmen, since which time the Board
have had the direction and control of the public improvements in
On February 29, 1872, the first street gas lamp for public use
was lighted (ordinance passed December 12. 1871), and in Octo-
ber following a number of the streets in the First Ward were
lighted with gas, by contract.
According to the annual report of Police Chief Whitney for
1872, the total number of arrests were two hundred and twenty-
five, and the number of places selling liquor in the city limits was
During this year the "long dock" had been filled in.
An additional ward was created on March 11, 1873; thereby
the city was divided into four wards. The number of Council-
men and other ward officers was proportionately increased.
*Total expenditures amounted to $2.4,252.14.
In the winter of 1873-74, the first night school was opened in
School No. 4. About this time the city purchased Carragan's
building for $10,500, which was reconstructed on the same site
where the city government had been inaugurated in April, 1869.
On June 30, 1874, the Mayor and Council first met in this, the new
For the year 1875, the aggregate sum of $90,675.78 was to
be assessed and collected. This included $19,720 for supporting
and maintaining public schools ; $4,000 for street repairs, etc. ;
$9,984 for salaries of city officials; and $21,500.78 for lighting
In the spring of 1876, No. i School, which was being built on
Fifth Street between Avenue C and Newman Avenue, was opened
for use (cost about $20,000), Five spacious brick buildings for
public school purposes had so far been erected in the several
wards, under the direction and supervision of the Board of Educa-
tion, and a system of instruction was established which placed the
schools of the city on a par with the best public schools of the
About June i, 1877, the Standard Oil Company erected an oil
refinery on Constable's Hook. This was the beginning of their
present enormous plant at that place.
The first chief engineer of the Fire Department was ap-
pointed in the same year. This was E. Berry.
At this time it was thought advisable to revise and alter the
division into wards, and to increase the number of wards. An
ordinance was passed in August, 1877, to create a new ward,
notwithstanding the objection of Mayor Meigs. This ordinance
was to take efifect March 10, 1878. However, on January 22,
1878, this ordinance was repealed.
Extracts from local newspapers during this epoch : —
"Chestnuts should be very cheap this year — there is an abun-
dance of them."
"Boatmen on the canal are hurrying up their trips in an-
ticipation of an early close of navigation."
"Farmers are busily engaged in husking corn. The crop is
very large, which fact causes the farmers to smile amazingly."
"An enterprising citizen passed our office* on Wednesday
morning, driving a yoke of oxen attached to a large wagon loaded
with various articles of merchandise, on his way to New York.
We afterward saw the same team on its way up Centre Street,
New York, followed by a company of boys who manifested great
curiosity at the unusual spectacle. Bovines have been brought
into quite general use, owing to the prevailing epidemic among the
horses." — "Hudson County Times," November i, 1872.
*Avenue D, near Cottage street.
Lane Elected Mayor — General Description — City Finances — Fifth Ward
Erected — Contract for City Water — Avenue D Macadamized.
In 1879 Stephen K. Lane was elected Mayor on Citizens'
ticket, to succeed Henry Meigs.
A glance at the city in 1879. Police Headquarters and City
Prison occupied the basement of the former Public Library, then
the City Hall. The Fourth Ward police station occupied the old
No. 4 School on Dodge Street. The number of churches was
eleven. The Fire Department had a total membership of one
hundred and eighty-five, with five companies, besides the Kill von
Kull hand engine at Bayonneport (property of the C. T. Reynolds
Company), manned by the employees of the color works. The
Bayonne and Greenville Gas I.-ight Company advertised gas at
$3.00 per 1,000 feet. Oliver's express boasted of the "largest and
best truck in the city."
The post-offices within the boundary of the city were located
at Bergen Point, Bayonne, Pamrapo and Van Buskirk's (Con-
stable's Hook). The first named was on Sixteenth Street (now
Eighth), opposite the Central Railroad depot; C. T. Munn was
postmaster. The second was on Avenue E, corner of Bayonne
Avenue (now Thirty-third Street), with J. Murphy, Jr., as post-
master. The third was the Saltersville post-office of years past;
M. Mullaney, postmaster. The fourth was on Constable's Hook.
G. Christians was postmaster here.
In this year Bayonne was divided into four wards, with five
pubHc and three private schools. The PoHce Department con-
sisted of one chief and eight patrohnen. Two weekly news-
papers, the "Herald" and ''Times," supplied the local news. The
C. R. R. of N. J. had four depots, and trains ran frequently.
Real estate was booming, and there was a remarkable increase of
stores for the next ten years. Extensive coal docks had been
built on the Kills. Ten large manufacturing concerns were
located at Constable's Hook, and gave employment to hundreds
From the financial statement made by the Mayor to the State
Comptroller on October i, 1879, the following is included: —
Obligations contracted; $17,200 war bonds, $228,000 funded
assessments, $219,000 improvements, $165,000 tax bonds (ten
years), $106,500 city bonds (twenty years) ; total amount of
funded debt, $735,700. Amount of floating debt, $76,758.22;
sinking fund, $27,000; real property, $5,250,500; personal prop-
erty, $153,000. Total rate of tax for city purposes, $1.47 per $100.
Some annual expenses; School, $14,550; salaries, $8,555;
Police Department, $7,400 ; repairs to roads, $3,000 ; lighting
For the sanitary survey and inspection of Bayonne in April,
1880, by Messrs. Brush and Eddy, they report in part: — "Highest
elevation above sea level is 6j feet. The lowest, one foot. Aver-
age level is 30 feet. Character of the surface soil is sandy and
loamy, with occasional cropping of trap rock. Water supply is
by means of wells and cisterns. There are forty-three miles of
unpaved streets and one mile paved (that macadam). There are
four and one-half miles of sewers. Dwelling houses number
about 1,200, mostly frame. There are about three hundred tene-
In 1880, the population had increased to 9,372, of which
82 HISTORY OF
about 725 were under five years of age. There were thirty-two
marriages and one hundred and ninety births and one hundred
and forty-five deaths in the same year.
On Alarch 15, 1881, part of the Second Ward was cut oft" and
termed the Fifth Ward.
The first attempt to obtain water was made in 1881, when a
contract was made with Jersey City to supply Bayonne. In 1882
water main No. i was laid from Jersey City, at a cost of $61,860.50.
The water was unfit to drink, and was used mostly for manufac-
In November, the following year, (1883), Avenue D from
Cottage Street to the Morris Canal was macadamized, at a cost
of about $108,400.
B A Y O N N E . 83
1883— 1 89 1.
Oliver Elected Mayor — Ordinance for Better Observance of the Sab-
bath — Newman Elected Mayor — Street Names Changed — Liquor License
Increased — Electric Lights — New School — Free Mail Delivery — Hospital
Founded — Establishment of Public Library — Growth of Population — New
City Hall— Martin Act.
In 1883, D. W. Oliver was elected Mayor on the Democratic
An ordinance for the better observance of the Christian Sab-
bath was passed in October, 1884. This prohibited public parades,
accompanied by music, within the limits of the city, except, of
course, military organizations parading with appropriate sacred
music on funeral occasions.
In 1885 the annual assessment included $25,597 for support
and maintenance of public schools; for salaries, $11,200; for sup-
port of Fire Department, $3,000 ; for street improvements,
The first bank in Bayonne — the Mechanics Trust Company —
was organized the following year (1886), and located at Bergen
John Newman was elected Mayor in 1887 on the Republican
Citizens' ticket, to succeed Oliver.
The names of sixty-seven streets were changed by ordinance
passed January 3, 1888: —
Latourette Street to Sixth Street ; South Street to Seventh
Street ; Fifteenth Street to Linden Street ; Sixteenth Street to
Eighth Street; Humphrey's Street to Ninth Street; Meigs and
Elm Streets to Tenth Street ; Eighteenth and Robin Streets to
Eleventh Street ; Van Buskirk Avenue to Twelfth Street ; Nine-
teenth Street to Thirteenth Street ; Twentieth Street to Four-
teenth Street ; Twenty-first Street to Fifteenth Street ; Twenty-
second Street to Sixteenth Street ; Twenty-third Street to Seven-
teenth Street ; Twenty- fourth Street to Eighteenth Street ;
Twenty-fifth Street to Nineteenth Street ; Summit Street to
Twentieth Street ; Twenty-sixth Street to Twenty-first Street ;
Twenty-seventh Street to Twenty-second Street ; Twenty-eighth
Street to Twenty-third Street ; Twenty-ninth Street to Twenty-
fourth Street ; Thirtieth Street to Twenty-fifth Street ; Thirty-
first Street to Twenty-sixth Street; Thirty-second Street to
Twenty-seventh Street; Thirty-third Street to Twenty-eighth
Street ; Thirty- fourth Street to Twenty-ninth Street ; Chestnut
Avenue to Thirtieth Street ; Maple Avenue to Thirty-first Street ;
Oakland Avenue to Thirty-second Street ; Bayonne Avenue to
Thirty-third Street ; Huron Avenue to Thirty-fourth Street ;
Division Street to Thirty-fifth Street ; Southview Avenue to
Forty-first Street ; Seaview Avenue to Forty-second Street ; Fair-
view Avenue to Forty-third Street ; Cadmus Avenue to Forty-
fourth Street ; Bayview Avenue to Forty-fifth Street ; Westview
Avenue to Forty-sixth Street; Northview Avenue to Forty-
seventh Street ; Forty-first Street to Forty-eighth Street ; Forty-
second Street to Forty-ninth Street ; Forty-third Street to Fiftieth
Street ; Forty-fourth Street to Fifty-first Street ; Forty-fifth Street
to Fifty-second Street; Forty-sixth Street to Fifty-third Street;
Forty-seventh Street to Fifty-fourth Street; Forty-eighth Street
to Fifty-fifth Street; Forty-ninth Street to Fifty-sixth Street;
Fiftieth Street to Fifty-seventh Street ; Fifty-first Street to Fifty-
B A Y O N N E . 85
eighth Street; Fifty-second Street to Fifty-ninth Street; Fifty-
third Street to Sixtieth Street ; Fifty-fourth Street to Sixty-first
Street; Fifty-fifth Street to Sixty-second Street; Fifty-sixth
Street to Sixty-third Street ; Avenue B south of South Street to
Meigs Avenue ; Avenue O to Rathbun Avenue ; Avenue P to
Humphreys Avenue ; Avenue Q to Newman Avenue ; Avenue R
to Avenue C ; Avenue S to Avenue D ; Avenue T to Lord Ave-
nue ; Avenue U to Lexington Avenue ; Avenue V to Hobart Ave-
nue ; Avenue W to CHnton Avenue ; Brighton Street to Brighton
Avenue ; East Street to East Avenue ; Crescent Avenue to Ave-
An ordinance was passed by the Council February 21, 1888,
to provide for the numbering of houses by consecutive numbers
for convenience and identification.
On April 17, 1888, the price of a license to keep an inn and
tavern was increased from $75 to $250 by an ordinance passed on
that date and approved by Mayor Newman on April 19. A
license to keep a restaurant and beer saloon was increased from
$50 to $250 by the same ordinance.
Li the same year an ordinance was passed September 7,
authorizing the Bayonne Electric Company to erect and maintain
a system of poles and wires for electric lighting in the streets and
public places in the city. This was the first contract for electric
lighting of the streets. As compensation for the privilege
granted, the company was to furnish and light in the streets, free
of charge to the city, an arc lamp for every fifty subscribers for
private lighting. The city was also to be allowed to stretch the
police and fire alarm wires on the same poles.
In December of this year (1888). School No. 6, which was
being erected on Thirty-eighth Street between Avenues C and D,
at a cost of $21,000, was opened for occupancy.
On February i, 1889, the free mail delivery system was put
mto operation. At this time Thomas Brady was postmaster.
The Bayonne Hospital and Dispensary had been incorporated
on March 2, 1888. This hospital was opened March 3, 1890, in
the building on East Thirtieth Street, which was donated to the
association by Mrs. Alice Story Rowland and Mrs. Abbey Story
Marshall. It was furnished by Mrs. Rufus Story with accommo-
dations for forty patients. No restrictions as to age, sex, color
or religious belief were imposed. It was to be supported by con-
tributions, endowments, etc.
A meeting was held at Schuyler Hall on Monday evening,
April 2, 1888, under the joint auspices of the Land and Labor
Club and the Bergen Point Debating Club, for the establishment
of a Public Library. Speeches were made by prominent citizens,
and resolutions were adopted favoring the establishment of a
library under provision of an act of the Legislature passed in
1884. On April 8. 1890, the question was submitted to a vote of
the people and was carried by a large majority (1,897 in favor,
193 against). On August 5, 1890, it was organized by the elec-
tion of officers, and incorporation papers were signed August 25.
The population of the city at this time was estimated at
19,033. The growth of the city warranted more improvements.
More improvements require more labor on the part of the city
officials, and more labor required a larger space to transact the
numerous affairs. Consequently it was thought at this time ad-
visable to erect a new City Hall.
On December 2, 1890, the contract was awarded for a large
two-story and basement brick building to be erected on the south-
west corner of Avenue E and Thirtieth Street ; contract price
The actual number of dwellings in 1890 was 2,820, and the
estimated persons to each dwelling were 5.9.
During- the last term of Newman's administration, the re-
moval of garbage by the city was first put in operation.
It was also during this administration that Bayonne first
took advantage of the Martin Act. This was an act that had been
passed whereby a city like Bayonne could appoint commissioners
to go from ward to ward, looking up delinquent tax payers,
seizing property in lieu of unpaid taxes, 'justifying claims and
assessing property at what they judged was its real value.
1891 — 1895.
Farr Elected Mayor — Board of Trade Organized — High School Estab-
lished — New City Hall Completed — Celebration of Opening — Ordinance to
Prohibit Vice and Immorality — Kite Experiments — New City Dock — Public
Library Opened — Annual Tax for 1894 — Contract for Pure Water.
William C. Farr was elected Mayor in 1891 on the Republi-
On October 5, 1891, the Board of Trade was organized.
The following year the Bergen Neck Railway spur from
Communipaw to Constable's Hook was completed. This spur
was used for the purpose of conveying oil and other products
from the Hook.
In 1892 the organization of the High School was efifected.
The academic classes which had previously been held in Schools
Nos. 2, 4 and 6, were transferred to the old church building on
Avenue D and Twenty-ninth Street, and termed the High School.
Jn the fall of the same year the new City Hall was com-
pleted, at a cost of $55,236.15. The grounds, however, costing
$9,046.43, brings the total cost to $64,282.58. This building was
occupied on October 21. On this day, the inhabitants celebrated
the opening of the new City Hall. Churches, schools, stores and
dwellings were tastefully decorated with flags and bunting.
Pupils of the schools held anniversary exercises. A large mili-
tary, civic and trade union parade took place. The Fire Depart-
ment and school children also participated in this event, making a
total of 4,000 in line. The following day, the 22d, the City Hall
was thrown open for inspection. Police Headquarters were also
transferred from the old City Hall to the new, and additional
patrolmen were soon added to the force.
In March, 1893, the Common Council granted to the Board
of Trustees of the Public Library a ten-year lease of the old build-
ing at a nominal rent, with the privilege of removing.
An ordinance to prohibit and prevent vice and immorality
was passed May 2, 1893, and approved May 4 by Mayor Farr.
This ordinance made it unlawful to admit any female under six-
teen years of age to any picnic, ball, dance house or other public
place of amusement, unless accompanied by her parents or by her
The highest flight ever made by a kite was on November 7,
1893, at Bergen Point, when William A. Eddy used two miles of
cord in flying tandem kites, one of which reached an altitude of
In 1893 the city built a dock at the foot of Ingham Avenue,
at a cost of $9,000.
It was during this year that the Bayonne "Democrat," with
M. R. Freel as editor and publisher, began publication as a weekly
In the spring of this year Mayor Farr received both the Re-
publican and Democratic nominations, and was re-elected. He
was the first Mayor ever elected in Bayonne without an opposition
During the last term of Farr's administration the city ob-
tained control of the property bounded by the Boulevard, Newark
Bay, Sixteenth to Fourteenth Streets, to be used at some future
time as a public park.*
On January 8, 1894, the reading-room of the Public Library
was opened to the public, and two weeks later the circulating de-
*This land was secured and taken in exchange by the city, in Heu of
unpaid taxes and assessments.
90 HISTORY OF
partment was opened with nearly 4,000 volumes on the shelves.
The books of the Workingmen's Library (some 1,500 volumes)
were purchased June 25, 1894, and on February i, 1895, the total
number of volumes had increased to about 6,600.
An ordinance to direct the assessment and collection of the
annual tax for 1894 included the following: — For supporting and
maintaining pubHc schools, $45,710 ; for support of Fire Depart-
ment, $5,000; Bayonne Hospital, $1,500; repairs to streets,
$7,000; police pensions, $975; salaries of city officials, $15,800;
support of police, $34,100; Free Public Library, $3,675.80.
In 1894, old No. 3 School in Pamrapo was condemned, hav-
ing been cracked in the process of moving from Centre Street to
Up to this time the city contracted with Jersey City for its
water supply. This water was very poor and unhealthy, and it
was deemed a public necessity to obtain a better supply. As a re-
sult, in September, 1894, the Common Council awarded a twenty-
five year contract to the New York and New Jersey Water Com-
pany to supply the city with pure water, the city agreeing to pay
for two million gallons daily the first year, and two and one-half
millions daily thereafter, at the following rates : — 2,000,000
gallons at $89 per million. 3,000,000 gallons at $80 per million,
4,000,000 gallons at $70 per million, 5,000,000 gallons at $55 per
million, 6,000,000 gallons at $40 per million. This contract con-
tained a provision by which the water company was obliged to
purchase lands for dams, etc., and build water works and sell the
same to the city at certain periods mentioned in the contract,
should the city desire to purchase the same.
On February 28, 1895, ^^""^ Charity Organization Society was
During Farr's administration, more than $350,000 was paid
for street improvements alone, for which bonds were issued and
sold for as high as $110.
BAYO N N E
The completion of the labors of the "Martin Act" Commis-
sion and its discharge by the Circuit Court occurred during Farr's
Courtesy of N. J. Central R. It.
Newark Bay by Moonlight.
term of office. This was the means of saving an expenditure of
about $12,000 per year in fees and salaries.
The organization of the detective bureau, the adoption of the
present fire alarm signal system, and the paving of East Twenty-
second Street from Avenues D to T, making it fit for public travel,*
were also accomplished.
*The city endeavored to improve this road several times during tlie
eighties, but always failed on account of court proceedings instituted by
the Central Railroad Company.
Seymour Elected Mayor — Trouble With Water Company — Hudson
Boulevard Completed — Extensive School Improvements — St. Luke's Hos-
pital Opened — Standard Oil Fire — President McKinley's Death — Small-pox
Epidemic — The Meeker Act — Street Improvements — St. Luke's Hospital
Burned — Avenue C Asphalted — Andrew Carnegie Gives City Library —
Work Begun on Public Park — New School No. 8 — Fire Destroys Tene-
ments^Reports, Statistics, Etc., at Close of 1903.
At the mayorality election in the spring of 1895, Egbert Sey-
mour, on the Democratic ticket, was elected Mayor. Several of
the Councilmen who were elected at this election, and two or three
city officials, were opposed to the new water contract, and at-
tempted a "hold-up." The trouble reached its height one day
during the first year of Seymour's administration. While em-
ployees of the water company were tapping the old mains to
make the necessary water connection, some city officials arrived
on the scene. Immediately there was trouble. The Fire Depart-
ment was called out and played the hose on the poor employees
of the water company until they quit work. For a time, a small
sized riot was in progress. The matter was taken before the Su-
preme Court of the United States by the water company, and an
injunction was obtained against the city. United States marshals
were stationed at the scene until the work was completed, to
arrest any city official who interfered.
In May, 1895, the Bayonne section of the Hudson County
Boulevard was completed. The city did not have any share in
B A Y O N N E . 93
the expense of its construction, and abutting property owners paid
a portion of the cost for flagging. In the spring of this year,
electric arc lights were placed on every corner along Avenue D,
illuminating that thoroughfare from one end to the other.
For the first time in the world, a telephone and telegraph mes-
sage was sent through a wire suspended by kites five hundred feet
in mid-air on December 5, 1895, at Bergen Point. "Kite" Will-
iam A. Eddy was making the experiment.
For this year the actual dwellings numbered 2,915, with 6.8
persons estimated to each.
The overcrowding of the schools necessitated the enlarging
of several school buildings. Old No. 3, in Pamrapo, having long
been condemned and out of use, warranted the erection of a new
school in that section. On June 18, 1895, contract was awarded
for an addition of four rooms to School No. 2, at a cost of $7,784
(opened for use January 23, 1896). On July 14, the following
year, contracts were awarded for the following: — No. 3 School,
new. Avenue D between Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Streets, sixteen
rooms ; cost, land $6,400, building $44,888 (opened for use April
28, 1897). No. I School, addition of four rooms; contract price
$9,975 (opened for use April 6, 1897). No. 5 School, addition of
four rooms; contract price $10,975 (opened for use about April
There were remarkably few fires during the year 1896. The
report of Hymen Lazarus, Chief Engineer of the Fire Depart-
ment for the year ending January 6, 1897, showed a total of nine-
teen alarms in the whole year.
Improvements were still on the increase, so that on May 15,
1897, there were forty-one miles of opened streets and fourteen
miles of sewers.
At this time the High School had outgrown its quarters in the
old church building on Avenue D and Twentv-ninth Street. On
this account the school was transferred on December 6, 1897, to
Schuyler Hall, at Bergen Point, its present location.
On April 5, 1898, a contract was awarded for the erection of
a new twenty-room school, No. 7, on property between Seven-
teenth and Andrew Streets; price of land, $12,400; building,
$71,300 (opened for use September 5, 1899). On April 19, 1898,
contracts were again awarded for the enlargement of school build-
ings, this time : — No. 4 School, addition of four rooms ; contract
price $13,216 (opened for use October 10, 1898) ; No. 6 School,
addition of four rooms; contract price, ,$10,897 (opened for use
about November i, 1898).
On December 3, 1898. St. Luke's Hospital on East Twenty-
second Street was opened.
During the summer of 1897-8 several balloon ascensions
were made at "Salter's," in Pamrapo, to which thousands would
flock to witness these daring feats. At one occasion the parachute
failed to open in its descent, and the horrified spectators saw the
aeronaut fall to the earth and killed.
The increase in population for the ten years ending 1900 was
13,689, making the total in that year 32,722 souls.
On the night of July 4, 1901, a number of oil tanks belonging
to the Standard Oil Company at the Hook exploded. A terrible
fire raged for five days, consuming millions of gallons of oil.
Houses close by were threatened by the blaze, and the tenants,
who were mostly poor, were compelled to remove their household
belongings and camp out on the salt meadows. The local Fire
Department fought splendidlv night and day, and much property
was saved by the heroic efforts of the men, who were assisted by
fire tugs from New York. This fire proved to be one of the
largest in the United States,
When, in September, 1901, President McKinley was linger-
ing between life and death, the result of an assassin's bullet wound.
BAYO N N E .
public feeling here was at its height. Upon his death, the city
went into mourning ; sorrow was manifest everywhere. Memorial
services were held in most of the churches, and several fraternal
organizations expressed their sympathy in writing to Mrs. Mc-
The city was visited by small-pox in November, 1901. Over
seventy cases were reported, of which twelve were fatal. School
No. 5, on East Twenty-second Street, and the annex on the Hook
Road, were both closed by order of the Board of Health. Every
effort was made to check the spread of this dreaded disease. Dr.
Forman, the city physician, and other doctors were kept busy
night and day in vaccinating people. It is said some 7,000 per-
sons were treated.
In this year, by an act of Legislature, the commencement of
the Councilmanic terms were changed from the last Monday in
April, as prescribed by the charter, to the first day of January at
12 o'clock, noon. This was called the "Meeker Act."' Owing to
this, Mayor Seymour entered his fourth term on January i, 1902,
being the first to do so.
Building Inspector Thomas Herbert reported that during
1901 more than a million dollars were invested in the erection of
new dwellings and places of industry, together with improve-
ments. The valuation of real estate amounted to over $15.-
Great activity was evident in street improvements during this
administration. From April, 1901, to April, 1902, there were
added 3,608 linear feet of curbstone, 5,506 linear feet of flag-
stone, 4,673 linear feet of macadam pavement, 5.800 feet of
About April r, 1902, the old Masonic building on Eighth
Street and Avenue C (formerly Schuyler Hall), which was being
used as a High School, was purchased by the city at a cost of
$14,500. (Alterations cost $11,661. School opened for use
January 26, 1903.)
In September, 1902, St. Luke's Hospital, on East Twenty-
second Street, was totally destroyed by fire.
Up to this period. Avenue C from Fifty-fourth Street to
Twenty-fifth Street was a dirt road, with the exception of the
stone blocks laid by the traction company between its tracks. It
was thought advisable by the majority of the property owners to
have this section asphalted, and the contract was awarded. This
improvement was finished in the winter of 1902-3, at a total cost
In April, 1903, Andrew Carnegie presented the city with
$50,000 for a Public Library. A site had been previously selected
on the northwest corner of Avenue C and Thirty-first Street,
costing $8,500, and work was begun on the building in the fall.
In August,' 1903, work was commenced for the laying out of
a public park on grounds owned by the city, bounded by the
Boulevard and Newark Bay, from Sixteenth to Nineteenth
In the same year contract was awarded for the erection of a
twenty-room public school building on Avenue C between
Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Streets, to be called No. 8.
Cost of land, $13,700; contract price of building, $84,658.*
In this year, property, real and personal, amounted to $15,-
At the mayoralty election in the fall of 1903, Thomas Brady
was elected Mayor on the Democratic ticket, to succeed Mayor
Seymour, who was serving his fourth term.
On December 19, following, fire destroyed a row of frame
flats on Avenue C and Eighteenth Street, rendering forty fam-
*Corner stone laid April i^, 1904.
ilies (mostly Hebrews) homeless and destitute. The fire victims
were given temporary shelter in the Hebrew Hall building near-
by, and contributions in the way of food, clothing and money
were given by charitable neighbors and church workers.
Reports, Statistics. Etc., at the Close of 1903.
Chief of Police Thomas Magner reported for the past year
as follows : —
Total number of arrests, 1,962 ; males arrested, 1,462 ; females
arrested, 320; over 16 years, 1,679; under 16 years, 283; total
number of meals furnished for prisoners, 1,311, at 25 cents each,
cost $327.75. Nativity of some of the persons arrested : — Aus-
tria, 140; England, 50; Germany, 117; Hungary, 21; Italy, 47;
Ireland, 273; Poland. 125; Russia, 179; United States, 977.
Total amount of fines paid in Recorder's Court, $2,109.50.
Superintendent of Schools, J. H. Christie, reported for De-
cember, 1903, as follows : — Total enrollment, 5,504 ; average at-
tendance, 4,644. This includes the night school, with total en-
rollment of 334.
Streets, Sewers, Etc.
Belgian, 2.2 miles; macadam, 9.7 miles; asphalt, 1.6 mile;
opened streets, improved, 13.5 miles; opened streets, unimproved,
36 miles ; total miles of streets in city, 77.5 miles. There were
also 30 miles of sewer and 39 miles of water pipe.
The Treasurer's annual report for the City of Bayonne Fire
Department Relief Fund showed a net balance of $19,190.35.
H ISTO RY O F
Thomas Brady, Mayor-elect, Enters Ofilke — Police Trial Board Created
— Destructive Fire — Report of Librarian — Bill for Bridge Between Bergen
Point and Elizabethport — Annual Tax Budget for 1904 — City Treasurer's
Annual Report — New Building for Police Headquarters — Carnegie Library
Mayor-elect Brady entered office at the beginning of the
By an ordinance passed January 19, and approved January
20, the first PoHce Trial Board was created. Egbert Seymour,
Samuel Graham and John J. Cain were appointed a Police Trial
Board to hear, try and determine charges preferred against mem-
bers of the police force.
On January 25, fire destroyed a row of frame tenements on
Avenue C and Twenty-fourth Street, and thirty-five families
were made homeless. Sympathizing persons again responded
and provided the destitute with shelter, food, clothing and money.
At the close of January, Miss Phoebe Ketcham, Librarian,
reported that the Public Library had a total of 12,898 volumes,
with 7,027 registered borrowers. The January circulation was
3,972, and for the ten years it had been in existence the total cir-
culation had reached 382,076.
For this month the population was estimated at 43,014 by
John J. Rooney, Clerk of the County Board of Health.
In the early part of March, school rooms were made in the
City Hall to accommodate scholars, the schools being cramped
For some time past there had been talk of having a bridge
built across Newark Bay, connecting Bergen Point with Eliza-
bethport, which, no doubt, would be beneficial to both places.
Congressman Allan Benny introduced such a bill in Congress. This
was passed by the House of Representatives on April 21, 1904.
At the time of writing it had not passed the Senate.
For the year ending May i, 1904, 7,194 feet of sewers had
been laid ; 8 streets curbed and flagged ; 12,510 feet of water pipes
laid, and 19 new hydrants placed.
The annual tax budget for the year 1904, as passed by the
Mayor and Council, reads as follows : —
For supporting and maintaining public schools $98,596.23
For school furniture for annexes 8,000.00
For completing four rooms for School No. 8 4,000.00
For fences around School No. 8 i ,000.00
For alteration to building now used as Workingmen's
Library for use as a school 4,500.00
For interest on City of Bayonne bonds 29,524.00
For interest on Road Construction bonds 1,990.00
For interest on Refunded Road bonds 1,575.00
For interest on Funded Assessment bonds 5,900.00
For interest on Refunded Assessment bonds 16,580.00
For Sinking Fund Road Construction bonds 1,200.00
For Sinking Fund Refunded Road Construction bonds 1,050.00
For Sinking Fund Refunded Assessment bonds 10,110.00
For Sinking Fund Funded Assessment Bonds 3,540.00
For Sinking Fund Avenue D Repaving bonds 1,000.00
For Sinking Fund Library bonds 200.00
loo HISTORY OF
For Sinking Fund for $100,000 School bonds $2,000.00
For support of Fire Department 18,000.00
For heating pubHc buildings and engine houses 1,500.00
For lighting public buildings and engine houses 4,000.00
For street repairs 19,000.00
For stable extensions and out-buildings 5,000.00
For books, stationery and printing 6,000.00
For contingent expenses 12,000.00
For Free Public Library 5,108.25
For concrete sidewalk for new Library 2,000.00
For Commissioner of Appeals 150.00
For Supervisor of Taxes , 125.00
For Board of Health 2,500.00
For election and registry 1,000.00
For installing police signal boxes 2,500.00
For police pensions 3,025.00
For salaries of city officials 25,400.00
For salaries of Police Department 64,200.00
For police incidentals 7,657.00
For lighting streets 32,500.00
For Assessment No. 245, improvement of East
Twenty-second Street, confirmed June 3, 1897 10,000.00
For assessment on city at large for public park 5,500.00
Sec. 2. That the following sums be taken from the accumu-
lated and current funds received for licenses for inns and taverns
and restaurants and beer saloons not otherwise appropriated, and
appropriated for the following purposes : —
For expenses of sprinkling streets $2,000.00
For removal of garbage and ashes and incidental ex-
For salary of Street Commissioner $2,400.00
For support of the poor 2,000.00
For salary of Overseer of Poor 600.00
For rental of suitable premises for an armory for
Company I, Fourth Regiment, N. G. N. J 575-00
For buildings, docks, and parks 10,000.00
For maintenance and superintendence of fire alarm
For Bayonne Hospital 1,500.00
For insurance 2,500.00
For support of District Court 2,000.00
Sec. 3. Eight thousand dollars to the Surveyor's Fund for
salaries of the City Surveyor and his assistants, and to pay for
the use of instruments, tools, implements and materials, and all
other expenses of the Surveyor's Department.
Sec. 4. One thousand dollars from the Fines and Penalties
Account for the purpose of paying the salary of the Recorder's
Clerk, and $540 for the purpose of paying the Court Interpreter's
Sec. 5. In addition to the other taxes, there shall be as-
sessed and collected from every male resident of the City of
Bayonne, over the age of twenty-one (21) years, $1.00 as poll
tax, to be applied for the purpose of supporting and maintaining
the public schools.
Sec. 6. In addition to the other taxes, there shall be as-
sessed and collected such sums as shall be apportioned by the
proper officials of Hudson County against the City of Bayonne
for its quota of County and State tax.
By comparing this budget with the first annual tax assess-
ment, passed in 1869, the growth of the city can easily be appre-
I02 HISTORY OF
The City Treasurer's annual report for the fiscal year ending
April 30, 1904, showed the following among the disbursements: —
Newark Bay Park. 3,244.33
Free Public Library 5j383.25
School land and buildings 20,009.30
Bayonne Hospital 1,500.00
City Surveyor 7,999.92
Fire Department 8,367.35
Poor 2,1 16.68
Street repairs 13,139.70
Police salaries 53,798-29
Police pensions 1,475.04
Board of Health 3,785.88
Buildings, docks and parks 10,540,59
N. Y. & N. J. Water Co 130,213.69
Construction (Water Fund) 33,894.69
Board of Education 171,140.00
Out of this last item the sum of $133,452.50 was used for
The Treasurer also reported the following cash balances on
hand in the several funds, April 30, 1904: —
Mechanics' Trust Co.
General Fund $11,466.21
Street Fund 3,324-76
School Fund 3.900.58
Funded Assessment Bonds Sinking Fund 6,711.66
B A Y O N N E . 103
Refunded Assessment Bonds Sinking Fund $5,085.89
Water Bonds Sinking Fund 719-35
Coupon Account .33
Hudson County National Bank.
Improvement Fund 12,639.98
Arrears Fund 6,615.91
Bayonne Bonds Sinking Fund 687.38
Road Construction Bonds Sinking Fund 2,441.88
Coupon Account 609.49
Improvement Fund 5'539-98
Arrears Fund i,3i3-42
Bayonne Trust Co.
Water Fund 2,751.12
Refunded Road Construction Bonds Sinking Fund., 1,567.56
On June 21, the Common Council passed an ordinance grant-
ing permission to the New York and New Jersey Water Company
to construct two water mains through the city in order to supply
Staten Island. The company agreed to erect forty fire hydrants,
and supply free water for fires and sprinkling. Besides this, they
agreed to pay a tax of five dollars for every million gallons of
water passing through to Staten Island.
At a meeting of the City fathers in the early part of August,
it was thought advisable to erect a new building for Police Head-
quarters. Owing to the increase in population, and the business
at the City Hall, that building could not afford adequate accommo-
dation for the city officials and their duties, apart from the offi-
cials and business of the Police Department. A site was selected
at the northeast corner of Avenue C and Twenty-sixth Street, and
purchased for the sum of $3,850. The contract was awarded
September i for the erection of a four-story brick building to
On the evening of October 29, the new Carnegie Library
building was formally opened with appropriate ceremonies.
Speeches were made by prominent persons, and the event may be
recorded as a most notable one in the history of the city.
For the year 1904, property, real and personal, amounted to
$16,314,717, an increase of $989,950 over 1903.
A Glimpse of the City as It is To-day.
Bayonne City, now in its thirty-fifth year of existence as a
city, is no longer a young, strugghng suburban community with
three thousand inhabitants. It has developed into a full-grown
and vigorous city with a population of forty-one thousand souls,
and a city of which the State of New Jersey has reason to feel
To-day it has a good and efficient Volunteer Fire Depart-
ment, consisting of six steam engines, two hook and ladder trucks,
and two hose companies, averaging about sixty men each. The
Department is recognized by the New York underwriters to be
one of the best volunteer forces in the vicinity of New York.
The Post Office Department has eighteen mail carriers, and
three deliveries are made in the business sections.
The city is well policed. The Police Department consists of
fifty men, all told. This includes a chief, two captains, six ser-
geants, three detectives, four roundsmen, thirty-three patrolmen
and one van driver. A new police signal system has recently
been installed, and a separate building for Police Headquarters is
in course of erection.
The school system has improved considerably. There are
eight schools, one high school and one evening school, as well as
five annexes and several parochial and private schools.
There is one hospital, which has an ambulance to answer
calls for aid to the injured. Both electric and gas lights illumin-
ate the streets. Most of the streets have been flagged and curbed,
some macadamized and asphalted. A complete system of sewers
has been established. Splendid drinking water is obtained from
the Passaic River above Little Falls, where it is free from pollu-
tion. There are three banking and trust companies, three build-
ing and loan associations, two daily and two weekly newspapers,
one hundred secret, benevolent and miscellaneous societies,
twenty-six churches, a public park being laid out, and a $50,000
Carnegie Library just completed. Monthly rents average from
$15 to $50. Average sale price of improved property is from
$2,000 up. Building lots per front foot. $7 to $30. The death
rate is unusually low, being 17 per 1,000.
Bayonne has enjoyed for years the enviable reputation of
being foremost among the cities of New Jersey from an industrial
standpoint. There are, at the present time, about 235 manufac-
turing establishments, the product from which is valued upward
of $40,000,000. Many of the greatest industries in the world are
located here. The plant of the Standard Oil Company and the
Tide Water Oil Company, known the world over, employ about
3,000 men, and have facilities for a daily output of 40,000 barrels
of refined oil.* The Babcock & Wilcox Tubular Boiler Com-
pany, which is the most extensive and complete plant of its kind
in the world, provides employment for 1,500 men. There is also
the Orford Copper Works, the Pacific Coast Borax Works,
GufTey Petroleum Company, Columbia Oil Company, Goubert
Manufacturing Company, Electric Launch Company, Bayonne
Chemical Works, Schwartzenback, Huber & Company's Silk
*Constable's Hook is the terminus of the longest oil pipe line in the
world. This is owned by the Standard Oil Company, and extends to the
Indian Territory, some 1,800 miles.
B A Y O N N E . 107
Mills, Port Johnston Coal Docks, International Tin Company,
Safety Insulated Wire and Cable Company, and other industries.
This, of course, makes the city an important shipping point.
Large steamship and sailing vessels load daily at Constable's
Hook, Port Johnston and Bergen Point, carrying petroleum, oil,
copper, ore, sulphur, coal and various other products to all parts
of the globe. Railroad transportation is also carried on exten-
The tallest chimney in America and second tallest in the
world is located on Constable's Hook. This was erected two or
three years ago, at a height of 365 feet.
The increase in population has been far greater than most
cities in the State. This is due, principally, to the fact that the
large industries are the means for the employment of thousands
The city is cosmopolitan, especially in the Centerville and
Hook districts. In these localities about 85 per cent, of the popu-
lation is of foreign elements, coming from all corners of the earth,
including Germany, Russia, Italy, Poland, Ireland, England,
Sweden and Austria.* While some are of an objectionable class,
taken as a whole they are an industrious, hard-working people,
and have been the means of building up a thriving business sec-
tion in these localities.
In the better residential sections, many of the people own
their homes ; others rent cottages or Chicago flats at $18 and up-
ward.** In these districts, a large percentage of the men have
their business in the great metropolis close at hand, and trains
and trolleys run frequently to accommodate them.
*In 1900 the foreign-born in the city numbered 10,786.
**According to the last census (1900), 26.6 per cent, of the private
families owned their own homes, while 7,3.4 per cent, lived in hired dwell-
B A Y O N N E . 109
Avenue D is the center for trade. The following estimated
list will g-ive the reader an idea of the number of stores in the
principal lines of business : —
Butchers 64 Carpenters and builders. . 31
Grocers 174 Plumbers 22
Bakers 16 Painters 32
Drygoods 44 Undertakers 7
Milk dealers 24 Expresses 19
Saloons 150 Variety stores 62
Tailors 27 Barbers 47
Druggists 14 Laundries 23
Boot and shoe dealers, in- Furniture dealers 8
eluding makers 64
Among the professional men there are 18 lawyers and 22
The area of the city is 2,530 acres, or 4 i/io square miles;
besides 1,240 acres of submerged property. It is 3^ miles in
length, and averages three-fourths mile wide.
Salaries of Principal City Officials.
Mayor'^ , $2,500
Councilmen No salary
City Treasurer 2,500
City Clerk 2,400
City Attorney 2,000
City Surveyor** 8,000
*The first Mayor to receive a salary was Egbert Seymour.
**This includes the salary of the City Surveyor and his assistants, be-
sides the expenses attached to this department.
no HISTORY OF
Tax Assessor $i,8oo
Street Commissioner 2,400
Collector of Revenues 2,000
Water Purveyor 1,700
Chief of Police 3,000
Building Inspector 1,500
BAYO N NE. Ill
Traveling Facilities from Early Days to Present — Early Country Roads.
The first ferry legally established on the North River con-
necting the New Jersey shore with that of Manhattan Island, was
the Communipaw ferry which was erected in 1661 at the foot of
Communipaw Avenue, Jersey City, with William Jansen in
The increase in population along Bergen Neck in 1750 was
thought to warrant the erection of a public ferry between Bergen
Point and Staten Island, so on September 15 of that year, Jacob
Corsen established a ferry which landed within a short distance
of the present slip on this side. The boat was a small open scow,
and was propelled by oars.
On June 18, 1764, the Jersey City ferry was established.**
It was started as an important part of the new stage route to
Philadelphia via a road connecting Jersey City and Bergen Point.
The following notice appeared at that time in the New York
"Mercury" under date of July 2, 1764: —
"A Ferry is established and kept across the Kill von Kull and
that boats constantly attend for that Purpose, at a Place belonging
to John Beck, and commonly called Mooddses, situate near the
Dutch Church on Staten Island, from whence Passengers are
transported directly across to Bergen Point, from which place
there is a five mile Road leading directly to the said Powless's
*Winfield's History of Hudson County.
**Dunlap's History of New York.
112 HISTORY OF
Hook ; so that a short, safe, easy and convenient Way is fixed by
Means of these two Ferries, for all Travellers passing- to the City
of New York, from any of the Southern Governments."
These stages were first "set up" in 1764 and did a thriving
business. The vehicle was a covered Jersey wagon without
springs. Three days were usually consumed in dragging it to
Philadelphia, and it was modestly called a "Flying Machine." In
1772, however, time was reduced to one and one-half days.
Anthony White, who owned the land where the Latourette
House now stands, petitioned the Governor of New York in July,
1764, for exclusive right to ferry across the "Kill van Corle."*
The petition was not granted. In 1765, Michael Van Tuyl was
the proprietor of the ferry.**
The travel to the south was afterwards turned to a new route
m-ade over the meadows on the line of the Newark Plank Road.
This caused the Bergen Point ferry to gradually decline and soon
In more recent years, John Goodheart, who lived on the
shore, ferried people across in a skiff for a considerable time.
Nicholas Cubberly also conveyed passengers over whenever re-
quested. A horse boat was plying on it between 1840 and 1850.
About 1863 a slip was built at the foot of Avenue C, on the
Kills, and a boat put upon the ferry. It continued in operation
for a few months, and was then destroyed by fire.
In March, 1868, "The Bergen Point and Staten Island Ferry
Co." was incorporated, but never gave sign of much life.
Walter H. Frazer attempted to revive it in 1869, but after two
weeks' experience, he abandoned the idea. After a few years
traf^c was greater and it began to boom. "The Port Richmond
and Bergen Point Ferry Co." took hold of it, and now the Public
*New York Colonial MSS.
**Winfield's History of Hudson County.
Service Corporation has obtained control and has recently made
It is not known at what time the first road from Bergen to
Bergen Point was laid. Some time previous to 1743 a King's
Highway was laid from Bergen Town to Bergen Point along
Newark Bay. This road was very sandy and ran partly through
a swamp. It was vacated when, on October 10, 1764, a King's
Highway was laid from Hendrick Sickle's barn to a point opposite
the Dutch church on Staten Island. This new road became a
part of the great stage route between New York and Philadelphia.
Evidently, this road was not constructed in such a manner as to
meet the requirements of travel, for on September 12, 1766, a
road four rods wide was laid from "the Southwest Point of Ber-
gen (Bergen Point) aforesaid along up Newark Bay," and from
thence over to Paulus Hoeck.*
This new road ran along the west side of Bayonnc about
three hundred yards from the Newark Bay shore, through the
picnic grounds in Pamrapo, where it joined the old King's High-
way. It was commonly called the "Shore Road," and was the
main road to these parts for about thirty years. A portion of it
can still be seen.
On June 29, 1796, another road was laid to Bergen Point.
It entered Bayonne at the junction of what is now Avenue C and
the Morris Canal,** went west, and then through the woods be-
tween the present Speedway and Avenue C, thence southward to
what is now Avenue D and Thirty-second Street, and from there
in' a direct line to the Point. It was a familiar sight to see the old
Vanderbilt stage coach, surrounded by a cloud of dust, jogging
along on its way to Staten Island.
*Winfield's History of Hudson County.
**The stone supports of an old bridge at this place mark the site of this
road. A section of it running from Forty-seventh to Fifty-first Streets is
still in existence.
114 HISTORY OF
A half century ago. Avenue D was simply a miry country
road. The old plank sidewalks were little better than the raad,
and the folks had to wade ankle deep through the mud. Cow-
hide boots were a necessity. Teams were drawn with difficulty,
and when stuck hub deep in the mud were hauled out by extra
oxen. The Plank Road Company was afterward formed (about
1856) and constructed a plank road running over the old middle
road laid sixty years before. This road was one-half planks and
one-half dirt, and toll was collected for travel thereon. One toll-
gate stood on the site of Fifty-second Street.
At this time Fifth and Eighth Streets were mere cowpaths.
Grand Street was called "Niggers' Lane." The old Hook Road
leading to Constable's Hook was at times entirely submerged by
water from the Kill and New York Bay, and it was a difficult
matter, if not a dangerous undertaking, to cross.
The first public means of conveyance to Jersey City was a
two-horse stage operated by George Anderson, early as 1848-50.
This started at what is now Twenty-fifth Street. Anderson
brought the mail from Jersey City to Mullaney's post-office in
In later years, the only public conveyance to Jersey City and
New York was Jacob Mersallie's stage line, or by boat from Ber-
gen Point. The "Red Jacket," "Kills" and "Wyoming" landed
at a dock then sittiated at the foot of Avenue D, to take on pas-
sengers for New York. The ride on the stage was rather long
and tiresome, and a bleak one in winter. In the summer, however,
it was most delightful, especially along the old Plank Road, which
wound around through the woods most of the way.
The Jersey City and Bergen Railroad Company was incorpo-
rated March 15, 1859. The Greenville and Ocean Avenue line
*Mullaney's store is still standing on the old Plank Road at Centre
BAYO N N E
terminated at the old car barns in Greenville later on. By an
ordinance passed in August, 1885, the company was authorized by
the City of Bayonne to "lay tracks in certain streets and avenues
and to run horse cars thereon only." The franchise also granted
the laying of tracks for a branch line on East Twenty-second
Street. The main line extended up Avenue C over its present
route to the Kill von Kull. The cars were small, were pulled by
mules, and were in charge of one man, who acted as both driver
and conductor. These cars were called "'dinkeys." A slight im-
provement was added by the use of horses in place of the slow,
stubborn mules. However, it took about two hours to travel from
ferry to ferry. In 1888, the Fifth Street line was added.
The Central R. R. of N. J. for many years terminated at
Elizabethport. In i860 an act was passed authorizing the com-
pany to build a bridge to Bergen Point and to extend the road to
Old Centrai, Railroad Bridge.
This extension was completed and opened for travel August
1, 1864. Eighth Street, the main station, was erected, that lo-
cality being the most populated section at the time.
ii6 H ISTO RY O F
The Dummy Road was built about 1864. This road began
just west of the Latourette House at Bergen Point, and ran
through private property between Avenues C and D to where
Garrett's Hotel now is, at Thirty-second Street, where it crossed
the old Plank Road and continued north, close to what is now
Avenue D, thence to the Junction in Greenville. Here passen-
gers for Jersey City and New York would have to change .for the
horse car to convey them to the ferry. The Dummy was one
car, with the engine at one end of it. The time of travel was
from one and one-half to five hours one way, according to how
the engine felt. The fare was twenty-five cents.
In the "Evening Journal" under date of Friday, March 26,
1869, the writer finds this : — "The complaints of the dummy travel
continue. Yesterday the dummy, in charge of Mr. Whiteneck,
broke down in multitudinous localities. Passengers were
obliged to walk in considerable mud."
This road was not a success, and ceased operations in 1870.
The old barns may yet be seen at Bergen Point.
A franchise authorizing the Jersey City and Bergen Railroad
Company to use electric motors as the propelling power of its
cars, and to erect poles and string the necessary wires therefrom,
was granted August 16, 1893. After this the horse car was
abandoned by the establishment of the trolley system, the traffic
on which steadily increased and the road improved upon consid-
erably to meet the requirements.
At a meeting of the Common Council, held on July i, 1902,
the North Jersey Railroad Company (who at that time controlled the
trolley system) filed a petition for a franchise to operate a trolley
line on Avenues A and B and to transfer its system from Avenue
C to Avenue D. The granting of these privileges, while meeting
with favor by the Board of Trade and most business men, was
BAYONNE. ' 117
for some reason never acted upon, and the petition was finally
The trolley service has been under control of the Consolidated
Traction Company, North Jersey Street Railway Company, and
at present is under control of the Public Service Corporation.
The trolley service to-day shows a marked improvement over ten
years ago. Large, modern cars are run under five-minute head-
The Central Railroad now has five stations, and trains are fre-
quent for the accommodation of commuters.
ii8 HISTORY OF
Early Worship — First Churches.
In the early days, those inhabitants who did not care to travel
as far as the old Bergen Dutch Church in Bergen, would worship
God in their own homes and in small gatherings. On Sabbath
mornings, the inhabitants along the Kill von Kull might have
been seen entering their skiffs and going across to the north
side of Staten Island to worship. The need of a church was
very evident. Consequently, during the summer and fall of 1828
those persons who were interested in securing public Sabbath
services, erected a small church on land given by Mr. Cadmus,
situated on the old middle road, and on January 11, 1829, the
First Reformed Church of Bayonne was organized as the Re-
formed Dutch Church of Bergen Neck, with Ira C. Boyce as
pastor. Among the prominent factors in the movement were
Richard Cadmus, Sr., Richard Cadmus, Jr., John Cadmus,
Michael Cadmus, James C. Van Buskirk. John Van Buskirk,
Jacob Cubberly, Jacob Van Horn, John Vreeland, Jasper Za-
briskie, and others. This church was the first to be erected in
Bayonne. The original cost was $1,600, and the building ac-
commodated about two hundred and fifty people. The edifice is
still standing and belongs to the Republican Club. It is now on
the corner of Avenue D and Twenty-ninth Street, but was
originally built about one block south. The second and present
edifice, on Avenue C and Thirty-third Street, was dedicated
March 31, 1867. In the early sixties, the parsonage stood on
Constable's Hook on the site of the present boiler works. This
building was removed later, and is now standing on Ingham
Early as 1831, the Methodists had a mission with Thomas
G. Stewart as their pastor. On June 22, 1844, the "Bergen Neck
M. E. Church" was incorporated. (Mattison M. E. Church, and
now First Methodist Church.)
There was, in 1845, ^ Methodist church standing on the
northwest corner of what is now Avenue D and Twenty-fourth
Street. This was the first and original building in which they
worshiped. It was a small, frame, peak-shaped building and was
called the ''Little Beehive," because of a swarm of bees which en-
tered through a knot hole and stored their honey over the front
door on the inside. This honey was taken out every fall, and
sold for the benefit of the church. Thomas McDonald and Gar-
rett Vreeland were the founders and main supporters of this little
church. A new edifice was built on the east side of Avenue D
near Twenty-ninth Street, the corner-stone of which was laid in
1854. In 1868 they moved this building to Avenue D and
Thirty-second Street.* The corner-stone for the present edifice
at Avenue C and Thirty-first Street was laid in 1891.
The Reformed Church of Bergen Point was organized May
16, 1854, and Rev. Jacob C. Butcher was its first pastor.
Those residents of Bergen Point professing a choice for the
Episcopal service attended the church on Staten Island. In
August, 1859, Trinity Church of Bergen Point was organized,
with Franklin S. Rising as pastor.
The church building of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
at Bergen Point was consecrated March 18 of the following year.
These, then, were the first churches in Bayonne. They were
♦Site of Garrett's Hotel.
H ISTO RY O F
BAYO N N E . 121
lighted with home-made candles, and later with oil lamps, and
heated principally by Gothic stoves that at times filled the church
so full of smoke that the minister could scarcely be seen by the
congregation. Reed organs were used ; hymns only were sung ;
Si. 50 was considered a substantial collection. The dominie's
salary averaged from $400 to $900 per year, in addition to vegeta-
bles, wood, etc., donated by members of the congregation. From
this, however, the religious population increased considerably, so
that in 1870 there were eleven churches. To-day there are
twenty-six churches, representing nearly every denomination.
They can be classified as follows : — Seventeen Protestant, seven
Catholic, two Hebrew. There are also two Sisterhoods. About
8,000 church members, estimated.
Early Bergen Church Marriage Records.
Van Boskerk, Lourens, b. at Hackensack, and Fytje Cor-
nelissen Vreelant, b. at Gemoenepau, both 1. at Pemmerpoch.
1709 — Sept. 18.
Bruyn, Barend and Antje Borten, both b. and 1. at Pem-
merpoch. 1 714, Mar. 27.
Lisk, John, lives at Bergen point, and Catrientje Huysman,
1. on Staten Isld, both b. on Staten Island, 1767, June 20.
Van Tile, Michael, and Sophia Cubberly both of Pamra-
paugh. 1797. Dec. 9.
Van Borckeloo. Wilhem Hermensen, from N. Utrecht, and
Maria Cordeljon, the groom 1. at Constapclshoeck, the bride at N.
Utrecht, received certificate Aug. i. and m. April 5, at Amers-
foort. 1697 Mar. 7.
H ISTOR Y OF
Vital Statistics of Bayonne.
Population — Births — Marriages — Deaths.
BAYO N N E
Population estimated, with exception of years marked (*)
which are the figures according to the census.
Tax Rx\tes per $100 Valuation.
?2.22 1895 $2.87
2.32 1896 2.62
2.20 1897 2.82
2.47 1898 2.75
2.32 1899 2.72
2.39 1900 2.70
2.62 1901 2.68
2.32 1902 2.90
2.39 1903 2.90
2.35 1904 2.79
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